Study Reports High Rate of Toxicity in Cancer Treatment among Latino Patients

Among Hispanic/Latino patients receiving cancer treatment, a study found a high rate of toxicity among this population. This study was published in the Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice.

For this study, researchers at the Eskenazi Health system in Indianapolis, IN, retrospectively reviewed electronic medical record data on Hispanic/Latino patients being treated at their center.

“It has been postulated that [Hispanic/Latino] population experiences toxicities at a higher rate and with a faster onset than the general population when treated with chemotherapy or biotherapy,” wrote the study authors. “The published clinical trials that have evaluated chemotherapy/biotherapy efficacy and toxicity have not adequately represented the Hispanic/Latino population.”

Patients included in the study identified as Hispanic/Latino, and were diagnosed with multiple myeloma, acute myeloid leukemia, breast cancer, or colon cancer. Patients were currently receiving, or had received chemotherapy or biotherapy during the analysis period.

In total, 73 instances of chemotherapy/biotherapy treatment and 46 unique patients were included in the analysis. Data regarding adverse drug events were compared to a general control population.

Of 73 cases of treatment, 29 toxicities (40%) occurred prior to the start of the study period. Twenty-six of 29 patients with baseline toxicity (90%) experienced subsequent toxicities during the study. Sixty-two total toxicity-related adverse events (85%) occurred during the study period.

In conclusion, the authors wrote, “Ethnicity has a proven effect on medication efficacy and safety, but the specific impact of ethnicity on chemotherapy/biotherapy toxicity risk has not been well elucidated. This study found that a majority (85%) of Hispanic/Latinx patients treated with chemotherapy/biotherapy experienced toxicity of any grade, and the majority (90%) patients who had prior toxicity experienced another toxicity.”