Socioeconomic Factors and Survival in Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, evaluated the impact of socioeconomic status on survival outcomes among patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM). Findings from this study were published in Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma, & Leukemia.

“We hypothesized that with expensive, novel therapeutic agents and paradigm shifts to maintain continuous therapy and improvement in overall survival (OS), patients with MM are subject to the pressures of financial toxicity and the need for social support, which may be of prognostic importance,” wrote the study authors.

Utilizing the National Cancer Database, the researchers identified 122,458 patients with MM. Socioeconomic factors such as annual household income, marital status, and education level were based on patients’ zip codes and the U.S. Census Bureau’s five-year report from 2008 to 2012. Factors were then assessed individually and as a group among a cohort of 2,534 patients with MM treated at a tertiary care facility. Patients in this cohort had known biologic risk factors, such as cytogenetic profiles, International Staging System classification, and serum lactate dehydrogenase levels.

Upon univariate analysis, the investigators found that only marital status and estimated annual household income at diagnosis negatively impacted OS. After multivariate analysis incorporating biologic risk factors, however, these socioeconomic factors did not have a relationship with OS.

In conclusion, the authors wrote, “Future analyses in other academic and non-academic centers located in urban and rural regions are required to understand the socioeconomic drivers of OS disparity among patients with MM observed nationally.”