Objective To identify potential racial disparities in the use of larynx preservation.
Design Retrospective database review.
Setting Academic medical center.
Patients The Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database was used to identify white, black, Hispanic, and Asian patients with stage III and IV laryngeal cancers that were diagnosed during 1991 through 2008. Patients with T4 disease or distant metastasis were intentionally excluded.
Main Outcome Measure Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis, with odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals, was used to investigate the relationship between race/ethnicity and the use of larynx preservation with radiation therapy as initial therapy.
Results Among the 5385 cases of laryngeal cancers that met the selection criteria, the racial distribution was white (72.7%), black (16.8%), Hispanic (7.4%), and Asian (3.1%). On univariate analysis, blacks (odds ratio [OR], 0.72; 95% CI, 0.59-0.88) were significantly less likely to undergo larynx preservation. This racial disparity persisted on multivariate analysis for blacks (OR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.63-0.96) and was still observed among patients treated more recently between 2001 and 2008 (OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.56-0.96).
Conclusions Pronounced racial disparities exist in the use of larynx preservation therapy for locally advanced laryngeal cancer. While acknowledging the potential biases of socioeconomic factors, further research to better elucidate the underlying reasons for these findings may be warranted.