The Role of Socioeconomic Factors in Multiple Myeloma Disparities

Socioeconomic factors play a big role in multiple myeloma disparities (MM), according to a study published in Hematology/Oncology and Stem Cell Therapy.

“Disparities driven by socioeconomic factors have been shown to impact outcomes for cancer patients,” the investigators wrote. We sought to explore this relationship among patients with multiple myeloma (MM) who were not considered for hematopoietic stem cell transplant in the first-line setting and how it varied over time.”

Researchers queried the National Cancer Database for patients diagnosed with MM between 2004 and 2016 and included patients who received systemic therapy as the first-line treatment. Poisson regression analysis, and multivariate Cox proportional hazards modeling were used to analyze the data. Overall, the researchers identified 56,102 patients for enrollment analysis and 50,543 patients for survival analysis.

According to the results, Therapy enrollment was notably impacted by race and sex (p<.005). The researchers observed that advanced age, earlier year of diagnosis, lack of insurance or Medicaid, and higher comorbidity were associated with poor survival (HR>1), whereas female sex, non-Hispanic black race, higher income, and treatment at an academic center were associated with improved survival (HR<1).

Disparities in treatment of MM exist and are caused by a complex interplay of multiple factors, with socioeconomic factor playing a significant role. Studies exploring such determinants may help in equitable distribution of resources to overcome such differences,” the authors concluded.