Association between race and survival of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer in the united states veterans affairs population

Apar Kishor Ganti, Shanmuga P. Subbiah, Anne Kessinger, Wilson I. Gonsalves, Peter T. Silberstein, Fausto R. Loberiza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background Racial disparities in outcomes of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients in the United States are well documented. A retrospective analysis of patients in the Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry was conducted to determine whether similar disparities exist in a population with a single-payer, accessible health care system. Patients and Methods Demographic data of patients diagnosed with NSCLC between January 1995 and February 2009 were analyzed using Kruskal-Wallis test or the χ2 test. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to compare survival among races. Results Of the 82,414 patients, 98% were male, 82% had a smoking history, and 81% were Caucasian. Caucasian individuals had better prognostic features compared with African-American individuals (stage I/II [24% vs. 21%]; Grade I/II [21% vs. 17%]). A larger proportion of Caucasian compared with African-American individuals received stage-appropriate treatment (surgery for stage I [48% vs. 41%; P <.001]; chemotherapy for stage IV [18% vs. 16%; P =.003]). African-American individuals had a lower risk of mortality compared with Caucasian individuals (hazard ratio, 0.94; 95% confidence interval, 0.92-0.96). Conclusion Although African-American patients had a higher stage and grade of NSCLC, they had a better overall survival than Caucasian patients. In a single-payer system with accessible health care, previously described racial differences in lung cancer outcomes were not observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-158
Number of pages7
JournalClinical lung cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Non-small-cell lung cancer
  • Outcomes
  • Prognosis
  • Race
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research


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