Overall survival of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
has improved during the past several decades, but evidence on the role of
race and ethnicity in survival of children with ALL has been inconsistent.
Pui and colleaguesArticle, in an analysis of data from
children with ALL enrolled in successive clinical trials at a single pediatric
cancer center during the 1990s, found no significant difference in survival
between black and white children. In contrast, in an analysis of data from
Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) population-based registries
from children diagnosed with ALL in the period 1973-1999, Kaden-Lottick and
colleaguesArticle found that black, Hispanic, and American
Indian/Alaskan Native children with ALL had worse survival than did white
and Asian/Pacific Islander children. In an editorial, CarrollArticle discusses
factors that may explain the discrepancies in survival outcomes across racial
and ethnic groups in these 2 studies.