In a National Cancer Database (NCDB) analysis reported in a research letter in JAMA Oncology, Bazan et al found that Hispanic ethnicity was reported in patient demographics or results in less than half of studies in breast cancer, with a smaller proportion categorizing race and ethnicity into mutually exclusive groups.
The investigators sought to characterize the gap in race and ethnicity reporting because, they noted, “for patients with breast cancer, studies suggest that there are ethnoracial (eg, Hispanic Black, Hispanic White) differences in stage, treatment, and mortality.”
A total of 361 eligible studies in the NCDB reported between 2010 and 2021 were included in the analysis. Among eligible studies, Hispanic ethnicity was reported in patient demographics in 171 (41%) and in results in 150 (42%). By comparison, race was reported in patient demographics in 314 studies (87%) and in results in 287 (80%).
Hispanic ethnicity was reported in both patient demographics and results in 149 studies (41%), whereas race was reported in both demographics and results in 284 studies (79%). Hispanic ethnicity was not reported in either demographics or results in 189 studies (52%) compared with race in 44 studies (12%).
Mutually exclusive race and ethnicity groups (Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, and non-Hispanic White) were reported in demographics in 130 studies (36%) and in results in 114 studies (32%). Hispanic ethnicity was disaggregated by race in only two studies (< 1%).
The investigators stated, “We demonstrated that Hispanic ethnicity is reported in fewer than 50% of NCDB breast cancer studies, approximately one-third of NCDB breast cancer studies categorized race and ethnicity into mutually exclusive groups (Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, and non-Hispanic White), and less than 1% disaggregated ethnoracial categories for both Hispanic and non-Hispanic people. While there are limitations in interpreting NCDB study results, these findings are noteworthy because excluding ethnicity from any analysis results in missed opportunities to identify differences in patient and treatment characteristics as well as survival, which may be less or more favorable in Hispanic people…”
Jose G. Bazan, MD, MS, of the Department of Radiation Oncology, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, is the corresponding author for the JAMA Oncology article.
Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit jamanetwork.com.The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.