Analysis of racial disparities in stage IIIC epithelial ovarian cancer care and outcomes in a tertiary gynecologic oncology referral center

Gynecol Oncol. 2011 Aug;122(2):319-23. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2011.04.047. Epub 2011 May 31.


Objective: To examine disparities in delivery of care and survival according to racial classification among White and African-American women with Stage IIIC epithelial ovarian cancer undergoing initial treatment in a tertiary referral center setting.

Methods: All consecutive patients diagnosed with Stage IIIC epithelial ovarian cancer between 1/1/95 and 12/31/08 were identified and clinic-pathologic variables retrospectively collected. Differences in initial treatment paradigm, surgical and adjuvant therapy, and overall survival according to racial classification were assessed by univariate and multivariate analyses.

Results: A total of 405 patients (White, n=366; African-American, n=39) were identified. There were no significant differences according to racial classification in age, CA125, ASA class, histology, tumor grade, the frequency of initial surgery (90.4% vs 82.1%, p=0.06), optimal residual disease (73.0% vs 69.2%, p=0.28), no gross residual disease (51.4% vs 53.8%, p=0.49), and platinum-taxane chemotherapy (88.3% vs 87.2%, p=0.55). The median overall survival for White patients was 50.5 months (95%CI=43.2-57.9 months), compared to 47.0 (95%CI=36.2-57.8) months for African-Americans (p=0.57). On multivariate analysis, age, tumor grade 3, serum albumin <3.0 g/dl, platinum-based chemotherapy, and no gross residual disease were independently associated with overall survival, while African-American race was not (HR=1.06, 95%CI=0.61-1.79).

Conclusions: Among women undergoing initial treatment for ovarian cancer at a tertiary referral center, African-American patients were as likely as White patients to undergo cytoreductive surgery, be left with minimal post-surgical residual disease, and receive appropriate chemotherapy. With equal access to gynecologic oncology care and multidisciplinary cancer resources, the survival disparities according to race observed in population-based studies are largely mitigated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Americans
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Female
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / ethnology*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / mortality
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Whites