Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genetic ancestry: A new look at racial disparities in head and neck cancer

27.09.2010
Head and neck cancer outcomes associated with race may be more closely linked to social and behavioral factors than biological differences, especially for African Americans, according to a new Henry Ford Hospital study.

Researchers found that while those who self-reported to be African American are at greater risk for late stage cancer, there was no correlation between patients' genetic ancestry and cancer stage or survival.

In fact, the study shows only 5 percent of patients who self-reported to be African American had more than 95 percent West African ancestry.

"We believe this is the first piece of evidence using genetic race to take a closer look at outcomes with respect to stage – early or late – and survival in patients with head and neck cancer," says study lead author Maria J. Worsham, Ph.D., director of research in the Department of Otolaryngology at Henry Ford Hospital.

"We know that African Americans are disproportionately diagnosed with late-stage cancer and have worse outcomes than Caucasians. While there has been no real consensus on the causes for this difference, it is possible access to care, stage at diagnosis and insurance status may be factoring into the equation."

Study results will be presented Sept. 26 at the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting in Boston.

In 2009, there were an estimated 35,720 new cases of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and approximately 7,600 deaths. Smoking and alcohol use are the primary risk factors for this type of cancer.

African Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage HNSCC and have worse survival than Caucasians. It's unknown whether significant biological rather than socioeconomic differences account for some of the disparities in outcomes.

Since self-reported race doesn't always offer a complete picture of a person's biologic make-up, Dr. Worsham and her colleagues set out to compare patients' self-reported race with their genetic ancestry to determine if there is any connection to head and neck cancer outcomes.

The study included 358 patients; 37 percent were African American.

The researchers examined diagnosis (late versus early stage) and overall survival for African Americans with HNSCC based on self-reported race and genetic West African ancestry.

During the past decade, many groups have developed and characterized sets of single nucleotide polymorphism markers that can distinguish genetic ancestry among major ethnic groups such as Asian and West African, called ancestry information makers (AIMs).

For the study, genetic ancestry was based on a panel of 100 AIMs to estimate genetic background.

"Using these genetic markers gives you additional statistical power. It's no longer two just categories - Black or White; it becomes a continuous variable. Race is not equal to genetics. Genetic markers don't define specific races," says Dr. Worsham.

Ultimately, the study found no correlation between West African genetic ancestry and HNSCC outcomes. Only self-reported race was associated with head and neck cancer stage.

Only 5 percent of self-reported African Americans had more than 95 percent West African ancestry, with 27 percent having less than 60 percent West African ancestry. By comparison, 48 percent who self-reported as Caucasian had more than 95 percent European American ancestry.

"The goal of using genetic ancestry is not to point out differences, but relatedness," says Dr. Worsham. "Health disparities within certain racial groups are very real, and what we're trying to achieve in terms of learning more about head and neck cancer is a leveling of the playing field to better diagnose and treat patients."

Study co-authors: George Divine, Ph.D., Henry Ford Biostatistics and Research Epidemiology; and Rick A. Kittles, Ph.D., University of Illinois School of Public Health.

Research Support: NIH grant R01DE15990 and a grant from the Health Disparities Research Collaborative, Henry Ford Health System.

Krista Hopson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hfhs.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's fermi finds possible dark matter ties in andromeda galaxy

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Wintering ducks connect isolated wetlands by dispersing plant seeds

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>