A recent study by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that African-American leukemia patients have shorter survival times than Caucasians.
It was discovered that once the disease was discovered, a more advanced chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) would develop in African-American patients within a shorter time span. Additionally, although African Americans began treatment at the same time as Caucasian patients, their disease would advance more aggressively.
According to the study, 84 African American patients and 1,571 non-Black patients were studied. Both groups received the same treatment and had access to similar health care facilities.
Prior research suggested that limited access to quality healthcare and economic factors were the cause of these results, however the individuals included in the study received equal healthcare.
“These findings suggest that while inducing similarly high response rates, standard treatments do not overcome racial differences in outcome among patients with CLL,” said Dr. Alesandra Ferrajoli, associate professor at the University of Texas.
Until researchers conduct further studies, the cause of these discoveries remain unclear.