Tuskegee, AL- A new means of detecting the most aggressive and fatal form of breast cancer — developed by a team led by Tuskegee University researchers — holds the potential to earlier detection and more informed treatment decisions.
“By collecting, analyzing and interpreting the genetic data available to us, we not only are able to validate our findings, but go further in researching how to best match cancer treatments to specific genetic factors,” said Dr. Davis.
Much of the data the team analyzed came from partnering universities and medical schools that include Dr. William Grizzle at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
“Understanding the genetic factors involved is critical,” Yates pointed out, “as this information will allow physicians to rely less on debilitating chemotherapy and more personalized therapy solutions to specific patients’ needs.
Support for this research effort comes through the National Cancer Institute’s Comprehensive Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (U54) program. The findings of this research underscore Yates’ long-term research on existing health disparities, especially for cancer patients of color.
“Most people accept that health disparities exist, but for a long time, those disparities have been linked to socioeconomic issues,” Yates noted. “Research like this underscores that ethnicity and genetics — more so than income or geography — should be considered when diagnosing patients, and those same ethnic and genetic markers can allow us to tailor treatments to those illnesses.”