publication date: Jan. 25, 2017

Head and Neck Cancer Study Finds Biological Explanation for Racial Disparities in Survival for Certain Cancers

A study found a link between African ancestry and poor survival rates in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

The study, by a team of researchers from Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple University Hospital, and the African-Caribbean Cancer Consortium, appeared online in the journal Cancer. Camille Ragin, associate professor at Fox Chase, and her team of researchers analyzed data from The Cancer Genome Atlas to search for a genetic explanation for the vast difference in HNSCC survival rates between white and non-white patients.

The analysis was led by post-doctoral associate Meganathan Ramakodi, a member of the Ragin lab. Their work included a study of the genes responsible for DNA repair, and they found that the genotypes containing the African allele showed poorer rates of overall survival and disease-free survival compared with those containing a white allele.

“Disparities in cancer risk and survival outcomes among African Americans are generally attributed to factors such as socioeconomic status and geography,” Ragin said. “Our findings suggest that in addition to these factors, there is an association between ancestry and survival rate disparities for the head and neck cancers we studied.”

The researchers discovered that people with the African allele at a certain genetic position have increased expression of … Continue reading CCL Jan 2017 – Study Finds Biological Explanation for Racial Disparities in Survival for Certain Cancers

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