indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
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...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Tribes walk out of contract support cost meeting (8/29)
Clara Caufield: Northern Cheyenne Tribe spends $2.4M on property (8/29)
Mike Johanns: Retracing steps of great Ponca Chief Standing Bear (8/29)
Steven Newcomb: Racist mascot a sign of deeper problems in US (8/29)
Lauren Jones: Affordable Care Act benefits Native Americans too (8/29)
Gila River Indian Community to see $77.6M from Cobell buy-back (8/29)
Energy boom linked to rise in human trafficking in Indian Country (8/29)
Navajo man heads up Native American Homelessness Task Force (8/29)
9th Circuit hears case over Yakama Nation tobacco manufacturer (8/29)
WAER: ICWA matters handled in 'kangaroo courts' in South Dakota (8/29)
MPR: Red Lake Nation opposes liquor license near dry reservation (8/29)
Tule River Tribe helps remove marijuana operation on reservation (8/29)
Omaha Tribe signs agreement with EPA to improve utility services (8/29)
Las Vegas Paiute Tribe rejected 'gift' from NFL team's foundation (8/29)
KPLU: Spokane Tribe maintains close ties with baseball franchise (8/29)
Opinion: HUD loan program a small step to boost Indian housing (8/29)
DNA study finds distinct population of Native people in Arctic area (8/29)
Tribes closely watching Big Lagoon Rancheria casino land dispute (8/29)
Tohono O'odham Nation to build off-reservation casino in phases (8/29)
State questions Forest County Powatatomi Tribe's slot machines (8/29)
Quapaw Tribe eyes local support for commercial casino in Kansas (8/29)
Native Sun News: Police officers who shot Indian teen get medals (8/28)
Cara Cowan Watts: Laying the groundwork for college scholarship (8/28)
Rudolph Ryser: Indigenous nations need leverage to bring change (8/28)
DOI extends $100M in Cobell buy-back offers on two reservations (8/28)
Cobell buy-backs could return over 38K acres to tribe in Montana (8/28)
Five-year-old Navajo boy sent home from school for his long hair (8/28)
Three charged with murder for death of Mississippi Choctaw man (8/28)
Lummi Nation seeks cooperation after ruling in treaty rights case (8/28)
Artist Gregg Deal takes on Indian mascots for performance piece (8/28)
Sports announcer won't use Washington NFL team's name on air (8/28)
Recruiter from Spokane Tribe's college selected for Peirone Prize (8/28)
California tribes support release of water to benefit salmon runs (8/28)
Southern Ute Tribe invests $2B in big energy production system (8/28)
County hires lobbying firm to oppose federal recognition reforms (8/28)
Tohono O'odham Nation breaks ground for off-reservation casino (8/28)
Cherokee Nation starts construction on casino at Indian allotment (8/28)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe responds to opponents in casino suit (8/28)
Jamul Band continues work on $360M casino after victory in court (8/28)
Editorial: Forest County Potawatomi Tribe ups ante in casino feud (8/28)
Ho-Chunk Nation launches outreach effort amid casino expansion (8/28)
Nebraska Supreme Court hears arguments over gaming initiative (8/28)
Tim Giago: Greedy lawyers and government ruin Cobell settlement (8/27)
Native Sun News: Facility in Montana set to house Indian inmates (8/27)
Gerald Gipp: National strategy needed to reform Indian education (8/27)
9th Circuit won't stop repatriation of Kumeyaay Nation ancestors (8/27)
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation puts youth to work for summer (8/27)
Gabe Galanda: Academia won't tackle tribal disenrollment issue (8/27)
Misty Lynn Ellingburg: 'Four Winds' is a literary magazine for us (8/27)
Declination rates for Indian Country crime steady for third year (8/27)
DOJ awards grants to address violence in Bakken energy region (8/27)
Another pipeline spills saltwater on reservation in North Dakota (8/27)
Navajo voters oust incumbent president Ben Shelly in primary (8/27)
Once rival factions of Chukchansi Tribe agree to 2015 election (8/27)
Three brothers on the ballot for Passamaquoddy Tribe election (8/27)
Daily Beast: Border Patrol runs free on Tohono O'odham Nation (8/27)
KTOO: Cook Inlet Tribe turns to video game to represent culture (8/27)
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.