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Cancer. 2012 Sep 15;118(18):4495-501. doi: 10.1002/cncr.26686. Epub 2012 Apr 23.

The influence of Hispanic ethnicity on nonsmall cell lung cancer histology and patient survival: an analysis of the Survival, Epidemiology, and End Results database.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA.



Most studies exploring ethnic/racial disparities in nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) compare black patients with whites. Currently, the effect of Hispanic ethnicity on the overall survival of NSCLC is poorly understood. Therefore, the authors carried out a large-scale, population-based analysis using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data base to determine the impact of Hispanic ethnicity the survival of patients with NSCLC.


The authors identified 172,398 adult patients with pathologically confirmed NSCLC from the SEER data base who were diagnosed between 1988 and 2007. A multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to determine the impact of race/ethnicity on overall survival. Pair-wise comparisons were used to determine whether Hispanic ethnicity influenced NSCLC histology or stage at diagnosis.


Compared with non-Hispanic white patients, Hispanic white patients had a statistically significant better overall survival (hazard ratio [HR], 0.85; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.83-0.87), and black patients had worse survival (HR, 1.091; 95% CI, 1.072-1.109). Within the bronchioalveolar carcinoma (BAC) subtype, Hispanic-white patients tend to be over represented (8.1% Hispanic whites vs 5.5% non-Hispanic whites vs 3.7% blacks; P < .001).


The current study demonstrated that Hispanic-white patients with NSCLC had a decreased risk for overall mortality compared with non-Hispanic whites and blacks. Moreover, Hispanic patients were over represented within the BAC histologic subtype. Thus, the overall survival advantage of Hispanic NSCLC patients may be because of their predilection toward developing certain histologic subtypes of NSCLC. Further studies are warranted to determine the etiologies of such predilections and may reveal certain genetic, environmental, and/or epigenetic factors associated with Hispanic ethnicity.

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