publication date: Mar. 30, 2017

Health Disparities Black and Hispanic women in Connecticut less likely to undergo gene expression profiling

In a simple definition, cancer is a disease of the cells, which is caused by gene mutations. For a proportion of patients, including women with hormone receptor positive breast cancer, gene expression profiling has a substantial impact on treatment decision-making by determining which patients might—or might not—respond to particular treatment options.

Gene expression profiling tests are readily available, yet researchers recently found that white women with breast cancer are far more likely to receive a particular test—Oncotype Dx—than black or Hispanic women with the same diagnosis.

The study, “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Oncotype Dx Test Receipt in a State-Wide Population-Based Study,” led by Cary Gross, Yale University School of Medicine and a member of Yale Cancer Center, is published in the March issue of JNCCN —Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. “Observed racial and ethnic disparities in Oncotype DX testing are particularly concerning given its potential to guide treatment decisions for women with early stage breast cancer. Unequal access to genetic testing has the potential to further exacerbate disparities in treatment quality, survival, and quality of life,” said Gross.

According to lead author Brigette Davis, the study built on existing research in two ways: identifying racial disparities in a state-wide, population-based analysis; and identifying the use … Continue reading CCL March 2017 – Black and Hispanic women in Connecticut less likely to undergo gene expression profiling

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