Dr. Erhunmwunsee on Factors of Disparity in Lung Cancer Treatment

Loretta Erhunmwunsee, MD
Published: Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018



Loretta Erhunmwunsee, MD, thoracic surgeon, assistant professor of surgery, City of Hope, discusses the factors that contribute to disparities in the treatment of patients with lung cancer.

Race and socioeconomic status are known drivers of disparity in cancer treatment in general. Patients who come from disadvantaged populations are less likely to receive treatment, and are also potentially less likely to survive due to access to care, Erhunmwunsee explains. Tobacco use is also a driver.

Disparity in care is multifactorial though, and in lung cancer, genomic and genetic difference can also drive disparity, says Erhunmwunsee. For example, EGFR and MET mutations can cause disparity in treatment, as the instances of these mutations can differ between races. These are some of the same disparities in clinical trial participation, adds Erhunmwunsee.


Loretta Erhunmwunsee, MD, thoracic surgeon, assistant professor of surgery, City of Hope, discusses the factors that contribute to disparities in the treatment of patients with lung cancer.

Race and socioeconomic status are known drivers of disparity in cancer treatment in general. Patients who come from disadvantaged populations are less likely to receive treatment, and are also potentially less likely to survive due to access to care, Erhunmwunsee explains. Tobacco use is also a driver.

Disparity in care is multifactorial though, and in lung cancer, genomic and genetic difference can also drive disparity, says Erhunmwunsee. For example, EGFR and MET mutations can cause disparity in treatment, as the instances of these mutations can differ between races. These are some of the same disparities in clinical trial participation, adds Erhunmwunsee.



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