Site Editor

Jennifer R. Brown, MD, PhD


ASCO 2022: Racial/Ethnic Identity and Overall Survival for Patients With CLL

By: Joseph Fanelli
Posted: Monday, June 13, 2022

When comparing patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), Black patients have had shorter overall survival rates when compared with White patients, even after adjusting for a higher prevalence of comorbidities in the Black CLL population, according to findings presented at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting (Abstract 7508). The findings from the largest study to date to analyze racial disparities among patients with CLL highlights the need for targeted research at improving survival among Black patients with this type of leukemia, concluded Victoria Vardell, MD, of the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and colleagues.

In this analysis, the authors focused on patient data from the National Cancer Database to identify people diagnosed with CLL from 2004 to 2018. Demographic and treatment characteristics were compared among White, Black, Asian, and Hispanic patients. In total, 97,804 patients were identified, of whom 90.7% were White and 7.6% were Black.

Compared with White patients, Black patients were younger at the time of diagnosis (median age 66 vs. 70, respectively), more likely to have more than one comorbidity (27.9% vs. 21.3%, respectively), and more likely to be uninsured (6.6% vs. 2.1%, respectively). Black patients were also more likely than White patients to have CLL-directed treatment immediately after diagnosis (35.9% vs. 23.6%, respectively).

With a median follow-up of 4.3 years, the median overall survival for all patients with CLL was 9.0 years, whereas Black patients had a median overall survival of 7.0 years (confidence interval [CI] = 6.7–7.3 years), compared with 9.1 years (CI = 9.0–9.3 years) for White patients. Black patients also had worse overall survival rates than White patients at 5 (61% vs. 69%, respectively) and 10 years after treatment (36% vs. 46%, respectively). In addition, the authors found that although overall survival lengthened with successive years of diagnosis for all races, the relative survival of Black patients compared with White patients did not improve over the observed period.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

By continuing to browse this site you permit us and our partners to place identification cookies on your browser and agree to our use of cookies to identify you for marketing. Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.