The following article features coverage from the American Society of Hematology 2020 meeting. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.

People who are part of certain racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States had inferior survival in indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) during the last 2 decades compared with non-Hispanic White populations, according to the results of a study presented at the virtual 62nd American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition.

“According to the US Census Bureau, racial and ethnic minorities will outnumber non-Hispanic Whites as a proportion of the US population by 2045,” said John L. Vaughn, MD, of Weill Cornell Medicine, New York City, who presented the study. “Given the growing size of minority populations, it is crucial to understand whether disparities exist in the survival of these patients.”

With this study, Dr Vaughn and colleagues used data from the SEER-18 database, which contains data from 18 state and local cancer registries. SEER-18 covers 28% of the US population and oversamples from racial/ethnic populations. The study included 63,855 patients with indolent NHL including follicular lymphoma (n=35,466), marginal zone lymphoma (n=18,188), mantle cell lymphoma (n=7005), and Waldenström macroglobulinemia (n=3196). The majority of patients were non-Hispanic White (75%).

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An unadjusted analysis showed that American Indians/Alaska Natives had the lowest relative survival at 10 years. The estimated 10-year relative survival was 69% for American Indians/Alaska Natives, 76% for non-Hispanic Blacks, 78% for non-Hispanic Whites, and 79% for Asians/Pacific Islanders.

After adjusting for age, sex, stage, median household income, and disease histology, American Indians/Alaska Natives had the highest mortality (hazard for excess mortality, 1.75) compared with non-Hispanic White patients, followed by non-Hispanic Blacks (1.37), Asian/Pacific Islanders (1.20), and Hispanics (1.14).

“Further research is needed to understand the underlying reasons for these differences,” Dr Vaughn said. “Possible reasons include differences in biologic factors, individual factors, health behaviors, and structural barriers.”

Disclosures: Some of the presenters disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry and/or the medical device industry. For a full list of disclosures, please refer to the presentation abstract.

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s coverage of the ASH 2020 meeting by visiting the conference page.


Vaughn JL, Xavier AC, Epperla N. Racial and ethnic disparities in the survival of patients with indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the United States: a population-based analysis. Presented at: the 62nd American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition; December 5-8, 2020. Abstract 208.