indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Study finds fewer Native children survive leukemia
Thursday, October 16, 2003

Native American children with leukemia do not respond to treatment as well as their counterparts, according to a study published on Wednesday.

Of all racial and ethnic groups, American Indian and Alaska Native children, along with Hispanic children, have the lowest survival rates, researchers found. Only 72 percent of Native and Hispanic children outlived the disease, compared to 84 percent for White children, 81 percent for Asian/Pacific Islander children and 75 percent for African-American children.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common childhood malignancy in the United States. According to the National Institutes of Health, ALL comprises 25 percent of all cancers in persons younger than 20.

In the past, ALL was almost always fatal. But advances in treatment have pushed the national survival rate to 80 percent, according to a study published in 1996.

Researchers have wondered whether minorities are benefiting from improved care. Yesterday's study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), concludes they do not.

"Our data suggest that children of different racial and ethnic groups vary in their survival from ALL, even in the modern treatment era," the researchers wrote.

The study, however, conflicts with another one that compared survival rates among White and African-American children. In data published in JAMA, researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, found no disparity.

Research among Native children with ALL has differed too. A 1991 study among Natives treated at University of New Mexico found their survival rates were just as good as other children.

In an editorial comment, the researchers noted that their data for Native children was limited. "We found that Native Americans had the worst ALL survival probability of any race/ethnic group, but with only 61 Native American children in the analysis this finding must be viewed with considerable caution," they wrote.

But they said their study was the largest to date. The UNM study involved 28 Native children.

The researchers gleaned their information from a database offered by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program of the National Cancer Institute. For the years 1973 to 1999, a total of 4952 individuals younger than 19 were diagnosed with leukemia. Of these cases, 1.2 percent were identified as Native American.

Most (77 percent) of the Natives were diagnosed with ALL between the ages of 1-9 while the rest were diagnosed between the ages of 10-19. This data allowed researchers to determine the probability of survival -- the younger one is diagnosed, the better chance for outliving the disease.

"Averaged over the study period of 1973-1999, Native American children had an 80 percent higher adjusted risk of death than did white children," the authors said.

The primary treatment for ALL is chemotherapy. Drugs can be taken to kill the cancer cells.

In certain cases, radiation therapy can be used. Radiation kills cancer cells and shrinks tumors.

Bone marrow transplantation is a newer type of treatment that combines chemotherapy and a transfer of bone marrow. The donor has to have the same or similar tissue for a transplant to have a chance of success. The National Marrow Donor Program encourages Native Americans to be tested for possible donations.

Get the Studies:
Survival Variability by Race and Ethnicity in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia | Results of Therapy for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Black and White Children

Relevant Links:
Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, National Cancer Institute - http://www.cancer.gov/cancerinfo/pdq/treatment/childALL/patient
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, National Marrow Donor Program - http://www.marrow.org/MEDICAL/all.html

Related Stories:
Donor found for Navajo boy with rare blood disease (08/26)
Marrow donor search for Navajo boy elusive (7/31)

Copyright 2000-2003 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Girls basketball team proudly wears Navajo hairstyle during game (2/8)
National Indian Gaming Commission slated to get a third member (2/8)
Senate committee to host roundtable on Tribal Law and Order Act (2/8)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee postpones field hearing into EPA (2/8)
Senate designates National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week (2/8)
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation invests in our people's wellbeing (2/8)
Kevin Washburn: Republicans punish tribe in public lands measure (2/8)
Harold Monteau: Democrats stack the deck for only one candidate (2/8)
Cutcha Risling Baldy: Don't let Leonard Peltier die in prison system (2/8)
Robert Jumper: Keep Eastern Cherokee council meetings on record (2/8)
Brian Pierson: Menominee Nation loses decision at Supreme Court (2/8)
Probe continues into unsolved homicide of 11-year-old Native girl (2/8)
Burns Paiute Tribe might seek to reopen judgment for stolen lands (2/8)
Shinnecock Nation approves plans to join medical marijuana field (2/8)
Teams protest corporate sponsor of Native basketball tournament (2/8)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe faces obstacles with repatriation of students (2/8)
Wallace Coffey resigns as chair of Comanche Nation after 25 years (2/8)
Broker accused of lying to tribal client about $190M in investments (2/8)
Seminole Tribe showcases long-lost declaration of independence (2/8)
Pope Francis to celebrate mass at Indian church for trip to Mexico (2/8)
California communities go without as casino revenue fund dries up (2/8)
Non-Indian firm looking to block Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino (2/8)
Umatilla Tribes raise gambling age as sales of liquor start at casino (2/8)
Apology offered to girls who were forced to change Native hairstyle (2/5)
Mark Trahant: Bernie Sanders campaign starts Indian policy group (2/5)
Charles Trimble: Taking responsibility for upkeep of our cemeteries (2/5)
Mary Annette Pember: Memorial to Indian genocide eyed in Russia (2/5)
Terese Marie Mailhot: I guess I'm just one of those 'crazy' Indians (2/5)
Judge weighs compromise for $380M in leftover Keepseagle funds (2/5)
Blackfeet Nation welcomes movement on water rights settlement (2/5)
Yakama Nation wins decision on cost of cleaning up contamination (2/5)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe confident of casino bid despite lawsuit (2/5)
Arizona sees 6.9 percent boost in gaming contributions from tribes (2/5)
Cowlitz Tribe close to reaching agreement with city for new casino (2/5)
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation questions exclusion from casino process (2/5)
Tribal leaders question management changes at IHS in Great Plains (2/4)
IHS chief medical officer apologizes for comments about newborns (2/4)
Group sues IHS for records about water pollution on Yakama Nation (2/4)
Sen. McCain still bothered by failure to block Arizona tribe's casino (2/4)
Gun Lake Tribe announces retirement of longtime chair DK Sprague (2/4)
House Natural Resources Committee passes Indian bills at markup (2/4)
Samuel Winder: Indian defendants face harsher criminal penalties (2/4)
Charles Kader: Tribal burial grounds in Florida are being desecrated (2/4)
Roger Chelsey: Pamunkey Tribe clears last hurdle for federal status (2/4)
Reno Sparks Indian Colony mourns passing of leader William Coffey (2/4)
Native students convince school to name Indigenous People's Day (2/4)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.