Black People With Colorectal Cancer that Spreads to the Liver Have Higher Rates of Death Compared to Any Other Race/Ethnicity

Among people with colorectal cancer (CRC) who experience colorectal liver metastases (CRLM), Blacks have the lowest survival outcomes of any race/ethnicity, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.

In this retrospective cohort study, researchers assessed 16,382 adult patients in the California Cancer Registry with synchronous CRLM between January 2000 and December 2012. They subsequently recorded race/ethnicity, and analyzed data from August 15, 2019 to January 25, 2020. Adjusted Cox proportional hazard analysis were used to assess the risk of death.

According to the results, compared with White and Hispanic patients, Black patients were the least likely to receive chemotherapy (59% vs 65% [White patients] vs 68% [Hispanic patients]; P < .001) or undergo liver resection (6.2% vs 10.3% [White patients] vs 9.5% [Hispanic patients]; P < .001). After controlling for age, sex, comorbidities, and extrahepatic metastasis, the researchers observed that Black patients had a 17% higher hazard of death compared with White patients (hazard ratio=1.17; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.24; P < .001).

“We found that Black patients were least likely to undergo chemotherapy or surgical resection for CRLM and had the worst survival compared with patients in other racial/ethnic groups. Benchmarks for improving survival among patients in minority populations who have cancer include maximizing opportunities to visit a cancer specialist, optimizing chances of undergoing state-of-the-art surgical therapy, and ensuring receipt of adjuvant therapy when appropriate,” the research authors wrote in conclusion.

“These data may provide a basis for a future quality benchmark that all patients with CRLM should be evaluated for resection by a liver surgeon in the office or tumor board setting.”