Consensus guidelines recommend for perioperative chemotherapy and surgery for patients with clinical stage (cT) T2 or greater gastric adenocarcinoma. We compared adherence to guidelines in these patients stratified by race.
Non-Hispanic White and Black patients with resected ≥cT2 gastric adenocarcinoma were identified within the National Cancer Database (2008-2017). We compared administration of preoperative chemotherapy by race, adjusting for clinicodemographic variables. We performed marginal standardization of logistic regression to calculate adjusted probabilities of administration of preoperative chemotherapy in patients under the age of 80 years with insurance.
A total of 13,850 patients were identified (White = 12,161; Black = 1,689). Black race was associated with lower likelihood of receiving preoperative chemotherapy than White race (odds ratio = 0.46, 95% confidence interval: 0.39-0.54). Other factors associated with lower likelihood of preoperative chemotherapy included age ≥70 years, female sex, treatment at community facilities, non-private or no health insurance, and cT4 disease. Factors associated with higher likelihood of preoperative chemotherapy included treatment at high-volume facilities, longer distance to facility, higher education and income levels, cT3 disease, and cN+ disease. In patients <80 years with insurance, marginal standardization models demonstrated that Black race was associated with a lower adjusted probability of receiving preoperative chemotherapy regardless of age, insurance payor, facility type/volume, distance to facility, cT stage, cN stage, sex, and education/income levels.
Black race was associated with underutilization of preoperative chemotherapy for cT2 or greater gastric cancer, in discordance to published guidelines. The etiology of these disparities is multifactorial, and correcting the root causes represents a critical area for improvement.

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