Emerging evidence suggests that particular drugs may benefit people from one ethnic group more than others, because of differences in their genetic makeup. However, most key trials looking at treatments for breast cancer have been carried out in predominantly white populations in Europe, North America and Australasia.
Other populations might not respond to a drug in the same way as the white populations in these trials, argue the researchers writing today. They suggest that clinical trials should record participants’ ethnicity and analyse whether there are differences in how patients from particular ethnic groups respond to a particular therapy.
The researchers highlight the example of a drug called trasztuzumab, which is commonly used to treat people with breast cancer that is HER-2 positive. Most studies of trasztuzumab have not reported the ethnicity of participants. However, a recent study showed that people with a particular genotype responded better than others to treatment with this drug.
The genotype in question is more common in some ethnic groups than in others, so the researchers argue that an individual’s ethnicity could be a key factor in determining which treatments are most likely to benefit them.
Dr Carlo Palmieri, from the Division of Surgery, Oncology, Reproductive Biology and Anaesthetics at Imperial College London and one of the authors of the piece, said: “Everyone responds differently to treatment and it’s often very difficult to predict how well someone will respond to a particular drug. However, evidence is now emerging that shows how your genes might influence whether or not a particular treatment can help you.
“There are small genetic differences between people from different ethnic backgrounds and it is really important that we find out whether these genetic differences mean that certain drugs perform well in people from certain ethnic groups but not in others. It’s only by doing this that we can make sure each individual receives the best possible care,” added Dr Palmieri.
Breast cancer is predominantly a disease of the economically developed world, but rates are rising rapidly in Asian and economically developing countries. Different ethnic groups have different incidences of certain kinds of breast cancer regardless of where they live. For example, there is a greater incidence of basal type breast cancer within African-American and West African populations. People’s outcomes from breast cancer also vary between ethnic groups for reasons which are still not entirely clear.
Laura Gallagher | alfa
'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS
New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).
Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
16.02.2018 | Information Technology
16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy