Researchers have uncovered definitive genetic links between African ancestry and an aggressive cancer type called triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).
Their analysis of TNBC tumours from a diverse patient population revealed a large set of genes whose expression differed in patients with African ancestry compared with patients with European ancestry.
In the study, scientists performed ancestry estimation on breast tissue samples from 132 patients and DNA sequencing on a subset of 26 cases provided by different institutes. They identified the expression of 613 genes associated with African ancestry and more than 2000 genes associated with regional African ancestry in patients with TNBC. They also describe distinct patterns of immune responses in patients of African descent that may explain patterns of disease progression and outcomes.
The authors said that these findings provide a foundation for future research into better treatment options for this cancer, which has the worst survival outcomes of all breast cancer types.
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