Given the relatively small population of Asians or Pacific Islanders (API) in the United States, studies describing long-term outcomes in API survivors of childhood cancer are limited. This study compared functional outcomes between API versus non-Hispanic White (NHW) survivors.
This study included 203 API 5-year survivors [age at follow-up: 29.2 (SD = 6.3) years] and 12,186 NHW survivors [age at follow-up 31.5 (SD = 7.3) years] from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. Self-reported functional outcomes of neurocognitive function, emotional distress, quality of life, and social attainment were compared between the two groups using multivariable regression, adjusted for sex, age at diagnosis and evaluation, cancer diagnosis, and neurotoxic treatment.
No statistically significant race/ethnicity-based differences were identified in neurocognitive and emotional measures. API survivors reported, on average, less bodily pain than NHW survivors [mean 54.11 (SD = 8.98) vs. 51.32 (SD = 10.12); P < 0.001]. NHW survivors were less likely to have attained at least a college degree than API survivors [OR = 0.50; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.34–0.73]. API survivors were more likely than NHW survivors to be never-married (OR = 2.83; 95% CI = 1.93–4.13) and to live dependently (OR = 3.10; 95% CI = 2.02–4.74). Older age (>45 years), brain tumor diagnosis, and higher cranial radiation dose were associated with poorer functional outcomes in API survivors (all, P < 0.05).
We observed differences in social attainment between API and NHW survivors, although statistically significant differences in neurocognitive and emotional outcomes were not identified.
Future studies should evaluate whether racial/ethnic differences in environmental and sociocultural factors may have differential effects on health and functional outcomes.