African American Women Have More Aggressive Breast Cancer Tumor Biology

Aditya Bardia MBBS, MPH Attending Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02114MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Aditya Bardia MBBS, MPH
Attending Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center,
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA 02114

 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response:  Multiple studies have consistently shown that African American women with cancer, including breast cancer, have worse outcomes than Caucasian counterparts. While socioeconomic issues, including access to care plays an important role, the contribution of tumor biology has been less clear.

In this study, utilizing exome sequencing data, we linked the racial distribution of primary breast cancer with tumor genotypic traits, including somatic mutations, gene-expression profiles and intra-tumor heterogeneity. We observed that in addition to having a higher prevalence of triple negative breast cancer than Caucasian women (something that has been documented in the literature), African American women had a significantly higher prevalence of TP53 mutations, TNBC basal-like 1 and mesenchymal stem-like tumors, and intratumor genetic heterogeneity, and all of which suggest more aggressive tumor biology, suggesting that differences in tumor genomic profile contribute, at least partly, to the known racial disparity in survival between African Americans and Caucasians breast cancer patients.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Our findings suggest that triple negative breast cancer, even within the basal-subtype, behaves more aggressively in African Americans and thus deserves more attention from researchers and clinicians to develop treatment regimens tailored to tumor biology. It also underscores the critical need to involve higher numbers of African American patients in precision medicine research aimed at developing novel targeted therapies for subtype of triple negative breast cancer specifically seen in African Americans.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Additional research is needed to confirm these findings and understand why African Americans have a worse tumor biology. Also, additional research is needed to develop specific therapies that target the molecular breast cancer subtypes specifically seen in African Americans and potentially reduce the racial divide in breast cancer outcomes.

Citation:

Keenan, B. Moy, E. A. Mroz, K. Ross, A. Niemierko, J. W. Rocco, S. Isakoff, L. W. Ellisen, A. Bardia. Comparison of the Genomic Landscape Between Primary Breast Cancer in African American Versus White Women and the Association of Racial Differences With Tumor Recurrence. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2015; DOI:10.1200/JCO.2015.62.2126

[wysija_form id=”5″]

MedicalResearch.com is not a forum for the exchange of personal medical information, advice or the promotion of self-destructive behavior (e.g., eating disorders, suicide). While you may freely discuss your troubles, you should not look to the Website for information or advice on such topics. Instead, we recommend that you talk in person with a trusted medical professional.

The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.

Aditya Bardia MBBS, MPH (2015). African American Women Have More Aggressive Breast Cancer Tumor Biology