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J Clin Oncol. 1996 Mar;14(3):974-7.

Evaluation of race as a prognostic factor in multiple myeloma. An ancillary of Southwest Oncology Group Study 8229.

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  • 1Arizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA.



The objective of this investigation was to assess the impact of race (black v white) on the survival of patients with multiple myeloma treated within the context of a large clinical trial.


A cohort of patients randomized to receive one of two treatment regimens and monitored for at least 10 years was studied to assess the impact of race as a prognostic factor, after adjusting for other known factors such as stage of disease. Patients were recruited from the referral network of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), a national multiinstitutional consortium that includes both academic and community treatment centers. Patients had a diagnosis of multiple myeloma and had not previously been treated for this disease. They were carefully characterized as to demographic and clinical features, and were randomized to receive one of two treatment regimens, which proved to have virtually identical outcomes. The outcome measure was survival, measured from the date of randomization to the date of last contact. Patients still alive at last contact date were treated as censored observation.


Survival for black myeloma patients was similar to that for white patients, both overall and adjusted for prognostic factors such as stage.


Observed differences in mortality between blacks and whites cannot be attributed to differences in survival after diagnosis, given comparable treatment.

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