Background: Racial disparities exist for patients with pancreatic cancer. This observation has primarily been noted in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database and has focused primarily on whites and African Americans. We sought to determine if these disparities exist in a local, racially diverse patient population.
Methods: Retrospective review of a pancreatic cancer tumor registry from two hospital systems from 1998 to 2010. Clinicopathologic parameters were recorded. Statistical analysis was performed by analysis of variance, Chi square test, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, log rank test, and regression models.
Results: A total of 1039 patients were identified for this study. Hispanic and African American patients presented at an earlier age when compared to whites. There was no difference in gender or stage at presentation between racial groups. Adjusted for stage, race was predictive of chemotherapy administration. Independent predictors of increased mortality included male gender, African American race, stage at diagnosis, and older age.
Conclusions: Despite adjusting for covariates, survival remains lowest for African American patients. Further investigation is needed to understand the effect of race and how it mediates treatment and survival in those with pancreatic cancer.