MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (12/14/2022) — Published in The Lancet, University of Minnesota Medical School researchers found a patient’s race may influence recommendations for surgical removal of brain tumors. According to the analysis, Black patients were independently associated with higher odds of being recommended against surgical resection in the four most common brain tumors. 

“Racial disparities have existed historically throughout health care, but are often attributed to socioeconomic inequities. New data collection and analysis techniques allow us to control for these factors and start to look at whether bias is happening at a provider level,” said Andrew Venteicher, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the U of M Medical School and neurosurgeon with M Health Fairview. He is also a Masonic Cancer Center member. “Clearly, more work is needed to identify these biases and educate providers on how to address them.” 

The research team studied more than 600,000 U.S. patients that were diagnosed with an intracranial tumor in the last five decades. When compared to white patients, Black patients were more likely to be recommended against surgical removal of their tumor for the four most common intracranial tumors: meningioma, glioblastoma, pituitary adenoma and vestibular schwannoma. This was independent of the tumor size, patient demographics and socioeconomic status of the patient. 

These findings provide the basis for future studies to gain further insight into unrecognized racial bias in clinical decision-making, determining the impact of the biases on patient outcomes and identifying mechanisms to reduce bias. 

The research team would like to acknowledge support from the Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Sontag Foundation and V Foundation for Cancer Research.


Dr. Venteicher and Erin Marcotte, MPH, PhD, are the senior authors of this study. The research team also includes: John Butterfield, Sina Golzarian, MPH, Reid Johnson, BS, Emily Fellows, BS, Sanjay Dhawan, MD, and Clark Chen, MD.


About the University of Minnesota Medical School
The University of Minnesota Medical School is at the forefront of learning and discovery, transforming medical care and educating the next generation of physicians. Our graduates and faculty produce high-impact biomedical research and advance the practice of medicine. We acknowledge that the U of M Medical School, both the Twin Cities campus and Duluth campus, is located on traditional, ancestral and contemporary lands of the Dakota and the Ojibwe, and scores of other Indigenous people, and we affirm our commitment to tribal communities and their sovereignty as we seek to improve and strengthen our relations with tribal nations. For more information about the U of M Medical School, please visit med.umn.edu

About the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota

The Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, is the Twin Cities’ only Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated ‘Outstanding’ by the National Cancer Institute. As Minnesota’s Cancer Center, we have served the entire state for more than 30 years. Our researchers, educators, and care providers have worked to discover the causes, prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer and cancer-related diseases. Learn more at cancer.umn.edu.

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