Do differences in medical comorbidities and treatment impact racial disparities in epithelial ovarian cancer?

Sarah Dilley, Britt K. Erickson, Caroline E. Phillips, Caroline R. Kennemer, Bin Zhang, Tasnia Matin, Jovana Y. Martin, Monjri M. Shah, J. Michael Straughn, Charles A. Leath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Population-based studies of women with epithelial ovarian cancer suggest that black women have worse survival compared to white women. The primary objective of this study was to determine if, at a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) serving a diverse racial and socioeconomic population, race is independently associated with differences in survival. Methods: A retrospective review of women with EOC diagnosed between 2004–2009 undergoing treatment with follow-up at our institution was performed. Records were reviewed for demographics, comorbidities (as defined by the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI)), tumor characteristics, treatment, progression-free (PFS), and overall survival (OS). Survival was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared with the log-rank test. Multivariate survival analysis was performed with Cox (proportional hazards) model. Results: 367 patients met inclusion criteria. 54 (15%) were black and 308 (84%) were white. Compared to white women, black women had higher BMI, lower rates of optimal surgical cytoreduction, lower rates of intraperitoneal chemotherapy, and higher CCI scores. The median PFS for black and white women were 9.7 and 14.6 months, respectively (p = 0.033). The median overall survival was 21.7 months for black women and 42.6 months for white women (p < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, black race independently correlated with a worse overall survival (HR 1.61, 95% CI 1.06–2.43). Conclusion: In this cohort, racial disparities may be due to higher medical comorbidities and lower rates of optimal surgical cytoreduction. After accounting for these differences, race remained an independent predictor of worse overall survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-52
Number of pages4
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • Comorbidities
  • Epithelial ovarian cancer
  • Racial disparities


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