A research partnership project between the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and Boston University will use a $19.3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study how genetics and environment interplay in breast cancer cases among younger African-American women.
The study continues ongoing efforts based at UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to study why African-American women under the age of 45 are more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive types of breast cancer and have poorer outcomes than American women of European ancestry in the same age groups, according to UNC, BU, and Roswell.
In that age group, African-American women have a 76 percent five-year survival rate compared to an 88 percent survival rate for white women, according to the most recently-available data, according to UNC.
The grant will pull together breast cancer cases from four ongoing studies — the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, the Women’s Circle of Health Study, the Black Women’s Health study, and the Multiethnic Cohort Study, and will involve more than 5,000 participants.
“Our aim is to explore the potential biologic, environmental and epidemiologic causes of this difference in cancer incidence,” Robert Millikan, a professor of cancer epidemiology at UNC, said in a statement today. “Our previous studies and those of our colleagues have suggested hypotheses that we will be investigating with this larger group of patients.” Read more…