Race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic differences in incidence of pediatric embryonal tumors in the United States

Jennifer M. Geris, Logan G. Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: The etiology of childhood cancers and its social patterning remains largely unknown. Accounting for socioeconomic status (SES) when exploring the association between race/ethnicity and cancer incidence is necessary to better understand such etiology. We aimed to investigate differences in the incidence of embryonal tumors (ETs) by SES and race/ethnicity in the United States using population-based registries of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. Procedure: Children with ETs aged 0-19 years diagnosed between 2000 and 2015 were ascertained from the census tract-level SEER database. SES was measured using a tract-level composite index. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) by SES quintile and race/ethnicity were estimated using multivariable Poisson regression models. Results: The majority of tumors had lower incidence among nonwhite children compared with non-Hispanic (NH) white children, after controlling for SES. NH blacks had a higher incidence of Wilms tumor than NH whites (IRR: 1.26; 95% CI, 1.13-1.39). There was an increasing linear trend (P = 0.0001) across increasing SES quintile for embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma after controlling for race/ethnicity. Effect modification by race/ethnicity of the relationship between SES and tumor incidence was observed for several groups. Hispanics had a significant, linear trend (P = 0.0005) in the incidence of Wilms tumor, while Asian/Pacific Islanders experienced a significant inverse trend (P = 0.0002). Conclusions: Results from this study suggest differences in the incidence of several ETs by race/ethnicity and that these differences may be modified by SES. Investigation of potential risk factors that are socially patterned is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere28582
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a Fellowship held by JG from the Institute for Molecular Virology Training Program at the University of Minnesota by the National Institute of Health (T32 AI083196).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC


  • embryonal tumors
  • epidemiology
  • pediatric oncology
  • race/ethnicity
  • socioeconomic differences


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