indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 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:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
White House to host first-ever Native youth conference on July 9 (4/24)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne Tribe fires casino manager (4/24)
Lakota Country Times: Timothy Standing Soldier passes on at 54 (4/24)
Mark Trahant: Invest in our Native youth for long-term success (4/24)
James Giago Davies: True believerism and comic book solutions (4/24)
Brandon Ecoffey: Oglala Sioux Tribe must act on legal marijuana (4/24)
Ed Rice: Cleveland team comes up with excuse for racist mascot (4/24)
White House Blog: Recognizing tribal Climate Action Champions (4/24)
House subcommittee looks at poor conditions at Indian schools (4/24)
Navajo actress was put in darker makeup for Adam Sandler film (4/24)
Eastern Cherokee group plans lawsuit over tribal council raises (4/24)
Column: Commission takes on truth and reconciliation in Maine (4/24)
Senate votes to confirm Loretta Lynch as next attorney general (4/24)
ICT interview with confirmed NIGC Chairman Jonodev Chaudhuri (4/24)
Dave Palermo: Tribes in California assert right to Internet poker (4/24)
Pokagon Band casino remains a concern for Indiana lawmakers (4/24)
Pojoaque Pueblo places casino manager on administrative leave (4/24)
White Earth Nation promotes tribal members in casino positions (4/24)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux student vies for Miss Indian World (4/23)
Lakota Country Times: Tribal citizens named to education board (4/23)
Ivan Star: Struggling with the warrior heritage in Indian Country (4/23)
Dana Lone Elk: Lakota people still carry on fight of Crazy Horse (4/23)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee passes bill to renew NAHASDA (4/23)
BIA faces fire over latest reforms to federal recognition process (4/23)
Opinion: First Lady brings truth with remarks about Native youth (4/23)
Incoming leader of Navajo Nation stresses importance of youth (4/23)
Native actors storm off set of Adam Sandler film in New Mexico (4/23)
Marijuana seen as new frontier in tribal economic development (4/23)
Senate approves anti-trafficking measure with tribal provisions (4/23)
Interview with Gyasi Ross about spoken word release Isskootsik (4/23)
Blackfeet Nation launches campaign to ban drilling at sacred site (4/23)
Cherokee Nation celebrates births of first calves from bison herd (4/23)
Burns Paiute Tribe investigates fire that destroyed two bulidings (4/23)
Kaibab Paiute Tribe welcomes designation as 1st dark sky nation (4/23)
University of Minnesota sees surge in Native student enrollment (4/23)
Editorial: Minnesota tribes work together to address treaty rights (4/23)
Editorial: Maine governor fails to treat sovereign tribes as equals (4/23)
Brazil to host inaugural World Indigenous Games this September (4/23)
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation probes woman's death at casino (4/23)
Tohono O'odham Nation vows defense for off-reservation casino (4/23)
Seminole Tribe talks with lawmakers about Class III casino deal (4/23)
Editorial: State needs assurances from Quapaw Tribe on gaming (4/23)
Native Sun News: Tribes take DOI to task over grizzly bear policy (4/22)
Native Sun News: Lakota rodeo legend Howard Hunter passes on (4/22)
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation language programs are working (4/22)
White House Blog: Improving the lives of Native American youth (4/22)
Bob Gough: Indigenous people most affected by climate change (4/22)
Duane Champagne: Indigenous accommodation for colonialism (4/22)
Audio from Senate Indian Affairs Committee on transportation (4/22)
Navajo Nation voters choose Russell Begaye as next president (4/22)
Appeals court sides with Indian inmate in religious rights case (4/22)
Kashia Band interested in timber not marijuana on new lands (4/22)
Kaw Nation to return to ancestral land in Kansas for ceremony (4/22)
Moapa Band to host Further Future music festival next month (4/22)
Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe runs into opposition to fish hatchery (4/22)
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.