Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Nasopharyngeal Cancer Survival in the United States

Vishal J. Patel, Nai Wei Chen, Vicente A. Resto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective To determine whether patient race and ethnicity affect nasopharyngeal cancer survival. Study Design Retrospective database analysis. Setting National Cancer Institute's SEER database (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results), 1988-2010. Subjects and Methods Nasopharyngeal carcinoma cases were extracted according to site codes and histology recode-broad groupings. The cohort of 5427 patients was used to calculate disease-specific survival in regard to race and ethnicity. Extracted data were further analyzed through direct comparisons and multivariable Cox regression models controlling for patient, tumor, and treatment characteristics. Results Unadjusted survival curves for all nasopharyngeal carcinomas considered together showed a statistically significant better disease-specific survival for the African American race (P =.02) and Asian ethnicity (P =.01) relative to Caucasian patients. The survival advantage for both these groups was eliminated after controlling for the age and sex of the patients. Conclusion African American and Asian patients with nasopharyngeal cancer have better disease-specific survival as compared with Caucasian patients, while Hispanic ethnicity has no effect relative to Caucasians. This disparity is accounted for by diagnosis at an older age in Caucasian patients but remains poorly explained in regard to Hispanic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-131
Number of pages10
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • cancer
  • disparity
  • ethnicity
  • nasopharyngeal
  • race
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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