Study reports racial, ethnic differences in young people with cancer

August 23, 2013, Louisiana State University

Mei-Chin Hsieh, MSPH, CTR, of LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health's Louisiana Tumor Registry, is the lead author of a study that reports racial and ethnic differences in the incidence of soft tissue sarcomas in adolescents and young adults. The research, conducted at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health, is published online in the Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology.

The LSUHSC research team, which also included Xiao-Cheng Wu, MD, MPH, Director of the LSUHSC Louisiana Tumor Registry, Patricia Andrews, MPH, Instructor of Epidemiology, and Vivien Chen, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology, analyzed 1995-2008 incidence data from 25 population-based registries covering 64% of the United States population, which they obtained from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.

The incidence rates of soft tissue sarcoma types in cancer patients who are 15 to 29 years old vary among racial/ethnic groups. The incidence of all soft tissue sarcomas combined was 34% higher in males than females, 60% higher among African-Americans than Caucasians, and slightly higher among Hispanics than Caucasians. The researchers found that African-American and Hispanic males had a higher incidence of Kaposi sarcoma than Caucasians. For non-Kaposi sarcoma, African-Americans had a significantly higher incidence of fibromatous tumors and rhabdomyosarcoma than Caucasians, Hispanics had a significantly higher incidence of liposarcoma, and Caucasians were more likely to be diagnosed with synovial sarcoma than African-Americans.

"Most studies on adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 29 have focused on the comparison of this age group with younger and/or older populations with less focus on quantifying the differences among racial/ethnic groups within this age group," notes Hsieh. The National Cancer Institute defines as a cancer that begins in the muscle, fat, fibrous tissue, blood vessels, or other supporting tissue of the body. There are a number of different types. They include Kaposi sarcoma, a malignancy that occurs in blood vessel walls that often affects people with immune deficiencies, such as HIV/AIDS; fibrosarcoma – tumors in fibrous tissue in the arms, legs, or trunk; liposarcoma – tumors in fatty tissue, often in the legs and trunk; rhabdomyosarcoma – cancer that occurs in skeletal muscle; and synovial sarcoma – cancer in the tissue around the joints and ankles.

This type of research provides information that can improve care. It raises awareness of the need for inclusion of cancer patients in this age group in clinical trials. It alerts physicians to the racial/ethnic disparities for different cancers. It can also direct policy. For instance, policies could be implemented to prevent Kaposi sarcoma since it is the only type among all soft tissue sarcomas that is amenable to prevention through appropriate interventions. Further efforts should focus on developing effective racially and ethnically sensitive and culturally acceptable interventions in order to minimize the disparities and ultimately reduce the incidence of Kaposi sarcoma in young adults of all races/ethnicities.

While disparities are also observed for common non-Kaposi sarcoma types, no well-established cancer controls are currently in place. Unlike Kaposi sarcoma, factors for racial and ethnic disparities in non-Kaposi incidence among adolescents and are less clear. More research on factors contributing to the racial and ethnic disparities of non-Kaposi sarcomas is needed.

"We hope that, based on our study results, more attention will be paid to all aspects of cancer care for this age group," Hsieh concludes. The research is a special study of the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health's Louisiana Tumor Registry, which is one of the 18 competitively awarded cancer registries in the SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) Program of the National Cancer Institute. The SEER Program is the most authoritative source of information on cancer incidence and survival in the United States. LSUHSC's Louisiana Tumor Registry is also a member of the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.

Explore further: Sugar-free approach to treating Kaposi sarcoma

More information: online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/ … 1089/jayao.2012.0031

Related Stories

Sugar-free approach to treating Kaposi sarcoma

October 1, 2012
A sugar-loving protein drives the growth of Kaposi sarcoma (KS) tumors, according to a study published on October 1st in The Journal of Experimental Medicine. Interfering with these sugary interactions inhibited growth of ...

Loss of MicroRNA decoy might contribute to development of soft-tissue sarcoma

August 7, 2013
Researchers have discovered a novel mechanism responsible for the loss of a critical tumor-suppressor gene in rhabdomyosarcoma and other soft-tissue sarcomas, rare cancers that strike mainly children and often respond poorly ...

Nearly half of sarcoma surgeries done by nonsurgical oncology specialists

July 8, 2013
Orthopedic oncologists and surgical oncologists, who have been trained in the complex procedures required to remove sarcomas located deep in the muscles and other soft tissues of the limbs, conducted only 52 percent of these ...

Research finds racial, ethnic disparities in health care among older male cancer survivors

July 12, 2013
Older African-American and Hispanic men who have survived cancer are less likely than their white counterparts to see a specialist or receive basic preventive care, such as vaccinations, according to new research from Wake ...

African Americans experience longer delays between diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer

May 28, 2013
Among men with prostate cancer, African Americans experience longer treatment delays after being diagnosed than Caucasians. That is the finding of an analysis published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the ...

Recommended for you

New approach attacks 'undruggable' cancers from the outside in

January 23, 2018
Cancer researchers have made great strides in developing targeted therapies that treat the specific genetic mutations underlying a patient's cancer. However, many of the most common cancer-causing genes are so central to ...

Study: Cells of three advanced cancers die with drug-like compounds that reverse chemo failure

January 23, 2018
Researchers at Southern Methodist University have discovered three drug-like compounds that successfully reverse chemotherapy failure in three of the most commonly aggressive cancers—ovarian, prostate and breast.

'Hijacker' drives cancer in some patients with high-risk neuroblastoma

January 23, 2018
Researchers have identified mechanisms that drive about 10 percent of high-risk neuroblastoma cases and have used a new approach to show how the cancer genome "hijacks" DNA that regulates other genes. The resulting insights ...

Enzyme inhibitor combined with chemotherapy delays glioblastoma growth

January 23, 2018
In animal experiments, a human-derived glioblastoma significantly regressed when treated with the combination of an experimental enzyme inhibitor and the standard glioblastoma chemotherapy drug, temozolomide.

Researchers identify a protein that keeps metastatic breast cancer cells dormant

January 23, 2018
A study headed by ICREA researcher Roger Gomis at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has identified the genes involved in the latent asymptomatic state of breast cancer metastases. The work sheds light ...

Boosting cancer therapy with cross-dressed immune cells

January 22, 2018
Researchers at EPFL have created artificial molecules that can help the immune system to recognize and attack cancer tumors. The study is published in Nature Methods.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.