Social and racial differences in selection of breast cancer adjuvant chemotherapy regimens

J Clin Oncol. 2007 Jun 20;25(18):2522-7. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2006.10.2749.


Purpose: Breast cancer outcomes are worse among black women and women of lower socioeconomic status. The purpose of this study was to investigate racial and social differences in selection of breast cancer adjuvant chemotherapy regimens.

Methods: Detailed information on patient, disease, and treatment factors was collected prospectively on 957 patients who were receiving breast cancer adjuvant chemotherapy in 101 oncology practices throughout the United States. Adjuvant chemotherapy regimens included in any of several published guidelines were considered standard. Receipt of nonstandard regimens was examined according to clinical and nonclinical factors. Differences between groups were assessed using chi2 tests. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with use of nonstandard regimens.

Results: Black race (P = .008), lower educational attainment (P = .003), age 70 years (P = .001), higher stage (P < .0001), insurance type (P = .048), employment status (P = .045), employment type (P = .025), and geographic location (P = .021) were associated with the use of nonstandard regimens in univariate analyses. In multivariate analysis, black race (P = .020), lower educational attainment (P = .024), age > or = 70 years (P = .032), and higher stage (P < .0001) were associated with receipt of nonstandard regimens.

Conclusion: The more frequent use of non-guideline-concordant adjuvant chemotherapy regimens in black women and women with lower educational attainment may contribute to less favorable outcomes in these populations. Addressing such differences in care may improve cancer outcomes in vulnerable populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Educational Status
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Patient Selection
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States