Study identifies barriers to transplant therapy to treat multiple myeloma among racial minority groups

December 11, 2017

ATLANTA -- A study by researchers at Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida has found that barriers to patients receiving stem cell therapy as part of their treatment for multiple myeloma include income, education, insurance status and access to care at an academic center or facility that treats a high volume of patients.

"Stem cell transplants are a standard treatment for patients with multiple myeloma and have been shown to benefit patients by delaying the recurrence of disease and, in some cases, improving patient survival," says Sikander Ailawadhi, M.D., a hematologist at Mayo Clinic in Florida and the lead investigator of this study. "While stem cell transplant utilization for patients with multiple myeloma has increased for all racial and ethnic subgroups over time, population-based studies have repeatedly shown that certain racial minorities are less likely to receive it."

Dr. Ailawadhi and his colleagues decided to explore factors that determine stem cell transplant utilization among patients from minority communities to better understand the issue and come up with solutions to eliminate barriers and improve access for all patients.

Researchers reviewed medical records for approximately 112,000 patients with a multiple myeloma diagnosis from the National Cancer Database between 2004 and 2013. Of those, 15,000 patients received a stem cell transplant as part of their treatment.

"We found that there was an overall increase in the use of stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma over time for all races except Asians," says Dr. Ailawadhi. "We also found there was greater use of stem cell therapy among Whites and Hispanics with higher income levels and greater use among Whites and Blacks with higher education levels."

Researchers found that White, Black and Hispanic patients with private insurance and those treated at academic medical centers or centers that treat a high volume of patients were more likely to get a stem cell transplant to treat multiple myeloma. They also observed some other variables that contributed to disparities including, patient comorbidities, distance from a treating facility and geographic isolation.

"This is the largest analysis exploring socio-demographic factors affecting stem cell transplant use in multiple myeloma treatment," says Dr. Ailawadhi. "We noted significant disparities among races for regarding who receives a stem cell transplant as a part of their initial care for multiple myeloma and who does not. Furthermore, we found that the socio-demographic factors that affect receipt of stem cell transplant for myeloma are variable from patients of one race to another."

Dr. Ailawadhi says that while some of these factors are non-modifiable, others including access to healthcare, income, insurance and literacy levels, proximity to treatment center, treating facility type as well as volumes are modifiable.
-end-
About Mayo Clinic Cancer Center

As a leading institution funded by the National Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center conducts basic, clinical and population science research, translating discoveries into improved methods for prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. For information on cancer clinical trials, call the Clinical Trial Referral Office at 1-855-776-0015 (toll-free).

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, comprehensive care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.

Mayo Clinic

Related Multiple Myeloma Articles from Brightsurf:

Penn Study supports use of radiation before CAR therapy for multiple myeloma
Administering radiation therapy to multiple myeloma patients waiting for CAR T cells to be manufactured was found to be safe and undisruptive to CAR T therapy.

New multiple myeloma therapy shows promise in preclinical study
A new alpha-radioimmunotherapy, 212Pb-anti-CD38, has proven effective in preventing tumor growth and increasing survival in multiple myeloma tumor-bearing mice, according to new research published in the July issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

A safer cell therapy harnesses patient T cells to fight multiple myeloma
A treatment for multiple myeloma that harnesses the body's cancer-fighting T cells was safe in humans and showed preliminary signs of effectiveness, according to a clinical trial involving 23 patients with relapsed or treatment-resistant disease.

Colorado tool, My-DST, may pick best multiple myeloma treatment
Response of liquid biopsies to approved drugs can help show resistance, predict response.

Case study: Treating COVID-19 in a patient with multiple myeloma
A case study of a patient in Wuhan, China, suggests that the immunosuppressant tocilizumab may be an effective COVID-19 treatment for very ill patients who also have multiple myeloma and other blood cancers.

New drug could reverse treatment resistance in advanced multiple myeloma
Researchers at the VU University Medical Center in the Netherlands have tested a new drug in patient samples and mice with multiple myeloma and discovered that it was effective even in advanced disease -- a point when many patients currently run out of options.

Single gene cluster loss may contribute to initiation/progression of multiple myeloma
The loss of one copy of the miR15a/miR16-1 gene cluster promoted initiation and progression of multiple myeloma in mice.

New CAR-T target yields promising results for multiple myeloma
In research published today in the journal Nature Communications, Utah-based scientists describe a novel way to treat cancers using chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy.

BCMA-targeted immunotherapy can lead to durable responses in multiple myeloma
An experimental, off-the-shelf immunotherapy that combines a targeted antibody and chemotherapy can lead to potentially durable responses in multiple myeloma patients whose disease has relapsed or is resistant to other standard therapies.

Study finds racial disparities in treatment of multiple myeloma patients
Among patients with multiple myeloma, African-Americans and Hispanics start treatment with a novel therapy significantly later than white patients, according to a new study published today in Blood Advances.

Read More: Multiple Myeloma News and Multiple Myeloma Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.