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Study highlights racial, socioeconomic disparities in genomic test used in early-stage breast cancer


A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published today in theJournal of Clinical Oncology used 143,032 patient records to show that African American patients are significantly less likely to receive a common test that predicts the seriousness of early-stage, estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer. It also revealed that African American patients who were tested had significantly higher scores, indicating an overall higher likelihood of having aggressive tumor biology that would benefit from chemotherapy.

“We meant this study as a kind of state of the union for the use of this test. What we found were some pretty stark disparities along socioeconomic and racial lines,” says Jagar Jasem, MD, MPH, investigator at the CU Cancer Center and the study’s lead author. Jasem is a resident at the CU School of Medicine Department of Internal Medicine and conducted his study under the mentorship of Peter Kabos, MD, CU Cancer Center investigator and associate professor in the CU School of Medicine Division of Medical Oncology. The current study is part of an ongoing collaboration in women’s health with Christine Fisher, MD, MPH, assistant professor in the CU SOM Department of Radiation Oncology, specializing in women’s cancers.

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