A genetic mutation related to a more aggressive form of breast cancer occurs four times more often in African American patients than their white counterparts, Yale researchers report in the August 9, 2004 online edition of the journal Cancer.
In the United States, African-American women have a lower incidence of breast cancer than white women, but they have a higher mortality rate. The disease also develops at an earlier age and is more aggressive in African-American women. To explore the reasons for the differences, Beth A. Jones, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine, and her colleagues studied the effects of alterations in a tumor suppressor gene called p53.
The team looked at how the patterns of alterations of genes related to worse prognosis differed between African-American and white women. They examined the breast tumors of 145 African-American and 177 white women and found that African-American women were four times more likely than white women to show significant alterations in the p53 gene.
Karen N. Peart | EurekAlert!
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