(HealthDay News) — Regardless of patient and tumor characteristics, white patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) have a consistent survival advantage over black patients, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in Cancer.

Wong-Ho Chow, Ph.D., from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues analyzed data from 4,359 black and 34,991 white patients diagnosed with invasive RCC (1992 to 2007) identified from 12 registries in the National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program. An actuarial method was used to compute relative survival rates through 2008.

The researchers found that, compared with whites, proportionally more blacks were diagnosed with RCC under age 50 and with localized cancer. However, the overall five-year relative survival rates were 72.6 and 68.0 percent, respectively, for white and black patients. Women and younger patients had higher survival rates. Advancing tumor stage and increasing tumor size within each stage were associated with decreased survival. Poorer prognosis was seen for clear cell RCC (common among whites) compared to papillary or chromophobe subtypes (common among blacks). Patients treated with nephrectomy, either black or white, had considerably improved survival than patients who received no surgical treatment (10.5 percent of white patients and 14.5 percent of black patients). Whites consistently had a survival advantage over blacks for all other demographic and clinical subgroups of patients.

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“Patients with RCC who are white consistently have a survival advantage over those RCC patients who are black, regardless of age, sex, tumor stage or size, histological subtype, or surgical treatment,” the authors write.

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