Black Patients With MM Less Likely to Undergo Complete Diagnostic Evaluation

By Urban Health Today Editors - Last Updated: December 17, 2021

Black patients with multiple myeloma (MM) were less likely to undergo a complete initial diagnostic evaluation for their disease as compared with White patients.

A study presented at the 2021 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting indicated that although there are differences in diagnostic evaluation, it is not clear if these differences lead to differences in treatment strategies and survival outcomes.

The retrospective study used data from the SEER-Medicare linked database, which included 18,267 patients aged 65 or older diagnosed with MM from 2001-2015. Of these, 15,360 MM patients (2,715 Black patients) had peripheral blood laboratory, urine, bone marrow, and imaging health care claims data available.

Black patients had a lower frequency of nearly all serum and imaging tests completed relative to White patients. Only 61% of White patients underwent the testing components necessary to adequately risk-stratify disease by ISS compared with 50% of Black patients. Only 30% of White individuals underwent components to determine R-ISS compared with 25% among Black individuals.

There were low overall rates of FISH cytogenetic obtained in the study population. Thirty percent of White patients underwent FISH cytogenetics and 25% of Black patients did (relative difference 18%).

MRI of the lumbar spine was performed in 33% of White patients compared with 24% of Black patients (relative difference 35%). PET/CT was performed in 9% of White patients compared with 5% of Black patients (relative difference of 94%).

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