Public welfare

Increased welfare spending may improve survival for black cancer patients

Increased public welfare spending could improve survival for black cancer patients in the United States, a new study finds.

The data showed that greater expenditure was associated with increased 5-year overall survival (OS) for black patients, and this translated into decreased black-white disparities.

These findings are expected to be presented at the ASCO 2022 Annual Meeting and were disclosed at a press briefing prior to the meeting.

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The study included data on adults from 13 states who were newly diagnosed with cancer between 2007 and 2016. The data came from the SEER-18 database. The researchers also looked at annual state spending data from the US Census Bureau.

The study included more than 2.9 million cancer patients. The results showed that an increase in public welfare spending did not significantly improve OS at 5 years for the overall cohort or for white patients, but there was a significant improvement in OS for black patients.

A 10% increase in public welfare spending was associated with an 8.6% improvement in OS at 5 years for black patients, a 2.6% improvement for white patients, and a 2. 4% for the entire cohort.

“This translates to a significant reduction in the Black-White disparity,” said study lead author Justin Michael Barnes, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. .

In an adjusted analysis, each 10% increase in spending was associated with a 4.55% reduction in OS disparity over 5 years between black and white patients.

Similar results were seen when the researchers looked at specific types of cancer. However, data on testicular cancer, thyroid cancer, kidney and pelvis cancer, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma were not reported because there is no disparity between blacks and whites in OS for these cancers.

“I think this data is thought-provoking, but it’s certainly not the end,” Dr Barnes said. “Some sort of public welfare investment appears to be improving oncology outcomes for some of our most socioeconomically at-risk patients, but we don’t know the details. Future work is needed to determine the most influential public welfare expenditures. »


Barnes JM, Johnston KJ, Osazuwa-Peters N. State public welfare expenditures and racial/ethnic disparities in overall survival of adults with cancer. To be presented at ASCO 2022; June 3-7, 2022. Abstract 6509.

This article originally appeared on Cancer Therapy Advisor