Does Race Impact Survival Outcomes for Patients with MPN?

By Kerri Fitzgerald - Last Updated: February 24, 2021

A study published in Hematology/Oncology and Stem Cell Therapy did not observe a significant difference in the rate of thrombotic or hemorrhagic events between white and non-white patients with Philadelphia chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). However, non-white patients had significantly shorter median survival.

The retrospective study comprised 300 adults with MPN who were seen at the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center between January 1992 and January 2019; 270 patients (90%) were white (median age, 58.0 years) and 30 (10%) were non-white (median age, 61.5 years). The non-white group primarily comprised African Americans (n=26). Patients with a prior history of any thrombotic or hemorrhagic event requiring transfusion of at least one unit of packed red blood cells or hospitalization were excluded.

Overall, 104 unique vascular events occurred in 91 patients, of which 73 were thrombotic and 31 were hemorrhagic. Patient age at diagnosis impacted the incidence of thrombotic events, with younger patients having a higher rate of thrombotic events over time (P<0.001); however, the incidence of thrombotic or hemorrhagic events did not differ between white and non-white patients.

Median survival was statistically significantly reduced in non-white patients (13 years; 95% confidence interval [CI], 5.7-22.7) compared with white patients (29 years; 95% CI, 21.8 to not reached; P=0.016). Among patients who had any thrombotic or hemorrhagic event, a larger proportion of non-white patients (44.4%) died compared with white patients (20.7%), although this was not statistically significant (P=0.08).

“Future efforts should focus on multicenter collaborations to evaluate the possible role of race or ethnicity in complications and outcomes of patients with MPN and to investigate the underlying causes of any potential disparities,” the researchers concluded.