Georgia Southern Researcher Examines Racial Differences in the Utilization of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Participation in Survey and Biospecimen Research
A collaborative study including Dr. Levi Ross, assistant professor of community health behavior and education at the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health examines racial differences in the utilization of bone marrow transplantation and participation in survey and biospecimen research. Racial and ethnic disparities have been reported in clinical trial/research participation, utilization of autologous and allogeneic blood and marrow transplantation (BMT), and availability of allogeneic donors. We performed a population-based cohort study to investigate adult hematologic malignancy referrals to a US tertiary cancer center, utilization of BMT, and participation in clinical trial, survey, and biospecimen research by race. US Census Data and the New York State Public Access Cancer Epidemiology Database identified the racial distribution of the general population and new hematologic malignancy cases in the primary catchment area. From 2005 to 2011, 1106 patients aged 18 to 75 years were referred for BMT consultation. Although the rate of BMT among hematologic malignancy referrals did not differ by race, the reasons for not receiving a BMT did. Participation in biospecimen research did not vary by race. However, African Americans and other minorities were significantly less likely to participate in survey research than European Americans. Although rates of hematologic malignancy referrals and use of BMT for minorities appear to be low (<10%), they closely reflect the racial distribution of all hematologic malignancy cases and the Western New York population. African Americans are equally likely as other races to participate in biospecimen banking, but further study is needed to understand reasons for lower participation in survey research.