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Study Confirms Genetic Differences in Breast Tissue Among Races

April 4, 2011
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• Differences suggest susceptible and perhaps increased risk.
• Pathways analyses showed differences.
• Full data presented during an AACR press conference.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Scientists from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine are working on a series of genetic analyses that suggest the underlying differences among racial groups are present not just in tumors, but in normal tissue as well. Lisa Baumbach, Ph.D., associate research professor, and colleagues presented the full study results at the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011, held here April 2-6.

“Our group has been working for quite some time on the hypothesis that there are underlying genetic differences in breast tissue across ethnicities, which would explain, at least in part, disparities in morbidity and mortality,” said Baumbach.

Baumbach’s research group is observing a multi-ethnic cohort of patients with triple-negative breast cancer, including 10 blacks, 10 Hispanics and 10 non-Hispanic whites. Study samples were marked by pathology as normal vs. tumor tissue. They were then analyzed for RNA isolation, cDNA preparation and hybridization of tumor/normal cDNAs and compared to a breast cancer focused gene expression array.

Results showed that the number of genes related to the DNA repair pathway, a known biology in cancer, was expressed differently across ethnicities. In a set of 10 DNA repair/cell cycle genes, the direction of change was the same for all three ethnic groups, but the level of change differed.

This abstract was presented at an AACR press conference on Monday, April 4 at 11:00 a.m. ET in room W313 of the Orange County Convention Center.

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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 33,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowships and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 18,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. Including Cancer Discovery, the AACR publishes seven major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. AACR journals represented 20 percent of the market share of total citations in 2009. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists.

Media Contact:
Jeremy Moore
(267) 646-0557
Jeremy.Moore@aacr.org
In Orlando, April 2-6:
(407) 685-4001

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