Black Patients With Multiple Myeloma Under-Enrolled in IMWG Data

By Patrick Daly - Last Updated: August 21, 2023

Various studies have reported that multiple myeloma is more common in Black patients compared with Non-Hispanic White patients. A consensus on multiple myeloma treatment guidelines is published by the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG).

Researchers, led by Suhib Fahmawi, examined the proportion of Black patients with multiple myeloma among all studies and references from the IMWG treatment guidelines. The cross-sectional study was published in the Journal of Cancer Policy.

According to Fahmawi and colleagues, the studies that mainly informed the IMWG guidelines did not include enough Black participants. They suggested future guidelines should consider incorporating observational, diagnostic, and population-based studies that better assess Black patients with multiple myeloma to “allow for better reflection of disease prevalence, clinical characteristics, and/or outcomes.”

Black Participants Lacking Across IMWG Studies

Fahmawi and colleagues reviewed 59 IMWG studies with 3956 associated references and enrolled 2047 references, of which 804 (39%) were clinical trials, 712 (35%) were observational studies, 401 (20%) were diagnostic or genetic testing studies, 65 (3%) were population-based analyses, and 65 (3%) were classified as other.

Only 213 (10.4%) out of 2047 references recorded the ethnicity or race of the participants. Overall, only 150,790 (2.6%) out of 5,747,920 total referenced participants across all studies were reported as Black patients with multiple myeloma.

The study’s authors added that, among the 282 trials performed solely in the United States, only 41 (14.5%) reported race or ethnicity. Of these studies, only 2493 (6.5%) out of 38,050 participants were Black patients.

Ultimately, the study’s authors suggested further trials include and report on more Black patients with multiple myeloma to improve treatment guideline development.


Related: Quality Improvement Initiative Addresses Disparities in MM Care

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