Supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb through the Robin Roberts Cancer Thrivership Fund
Ovarian cancer is a leading cause of cancer death among US women, with about 50% of women dying from their disease within five years. Treatments including surgery and chemotherapy are meant to cure the cancer, but in about 50% of women, the cancer will come back.
Black and Hispanic women are more likely to stop treatment early, and to die from their disease than non-Hispanic white women. These differences are referred to as race/ethnic disparities. There are many reasons for disparities, including differences in access and quality of medical care. Black and Hispanic women are also more likely to have other health conditions (i.e. comorbidities), like heart disease or diabetes, when they are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. These comorbidities may change a patient’s ability to tolerate treatment, and in turn, may reduce their survival. Comorbidities may also change the biology of the tumor. Looking at tumor markers may provide information on response to treatment and survival of the patients.
The goal of this project is to understand race/ethnic disparities in ovarian cancer treatment, recurrence, and mortality. In this project, we will examine how comorbidities and tumor markers differ in a diverse group of ovarian cancer patients. This study will take place using data from the Kaiser Permanente Healthcare system. This research project will provide information for doctors about how health conditions can affect a woman’s response to treatment, so that she can get better cancer care, and help to reduce disparities in ovarian cancer treatment and outcomes.