Scientists have taken a step forward in the fight against triple negative breast cancer, the most deadly form of breast cancer in black women. Researchers at the North Shore-LIJ Health System and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research claim that they’ve changed the game in breast cancer research with their most recent results.
The team found a new DNA marker that is linked to triple-negative breast cancer. The marker helps them to determine why breast cancer affects black women so much more than everyone else. The survival rate for black women is much lower than white women, even when other factors are taken into consideration.
Researchers tested the genetic markers in the DNA, which are called microRNA, and found that white women who had triple-negative breast cancer showed levels of 20 different microRNA that helped them to fight the cancer. The levels were much higher than the control group, and none of the microRNA were found in the African American patients in the sample.
According to the Huffington Post:
“Breast cancer patients who have the most devastating outcome may carry the microRNAs that promote cancer,” said Iuliana Shapira, director of the Cancer Genetics Program at the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s Monter Cancer Center, according to Medical News Today. “What we saw in this study is that Caucasian women may carry microRNAs that protect against cancer while African-American women do not express those microRNAs,” she added.