Stead, L. A. et al. Triple-negative breast cancers are increased in black women regardless of age or body mass index. Breast Cancer Res. 11, R18

Department of Medicine, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA 02118, USA.
Breast cancer research: BCR (Impact Factor: 5.88). 04/2009; 11(2):R18. DOI: 10.1186/bcr2242
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We investigated clinical and pathologic features of breast cancers (BC) in an unselected series of patients diagnosed in a tertiary care hospital serving a diverse population. We focused on triple-negative (Tneg) tumours (oestrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and HER2 negative), which are associated with poor prognosis.
We identified female patients with invasive BC diagnosed between 1998 and 2006, with data available on tumor grade, stage, ER, PR and HER2 status, and patient age, body mass index (BMI) and self-identified racial/ethnic group. We determined associations between patient and tumour characteristics using contingency tables and multivariate logistic regression.
415 cases were identified. Patients were racially and ethnically diverse (born in 44 countries, 36% white, 43% black, 10% Hispanic and 11% other). 47% were obese (BMI > 30 kg/m2). 72% of tumours were ER+ and/or PR+, 20% were Tneg and 13% were HER2+. The odds of having a Tneg tumour were 3-fold higher (95% CI 1.6, 5.5; p = 0.0001) in black compared with white women. Tneg tumours were equally common in black women diagnosed before and after age 50 (31% vs 29%; p = NS), and who were obese and non-obese (29% vs 31%; p = NS). Considering all patients, as BMI increased, the proportion of Tneg tumours decreased (p = 0.08).
Black women of diverse background have 3-fold more Tneg tumours than non-black women, regardless of age and BMI. Other factors must determine tumour subtype. The higher prevalence of Tneg tumours in black women in all age and weight categories likely contributes to black women's unfavorable breast cancer prognosis.

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Available from: Jerome Sobieraj, May 10, 2015
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    • "Approximately 15% to 19% of patients are diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) [2] [3] [4] [5], which are mammary tumors that lack receptors for estrogen (ER), progesterone (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) [4] [6]. TNBC is most common in women who are obese, premenopausal, of low socioeconomic status, or of African American descent [7] [8] [9]. This is a particularly lethal subtype of breast cancer with a 5-year survival rate as low as 40% [10] [11] [12]. "
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    • "While socioeconomic factors contribute in part to this disparity in survival, they do not account for all differences noted between these two racial groups [3] [5] [6]. In particular, premenopausal African American women present with a higher incidence of triplenegative breast cancer (TNBC), a molecular subtype that has limited targeted therapeutic options [3] [7]. Current investigations are focused upon the identification of new therapeutic targets specific to the aggressive TNBC form of breast cancers found more frequently in young African "
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    • "There is considerable overlap between triple-negative tumors, basal-like tumors, and tumors, which expresses cytokeratins 5 and 6 [3]. Triple-negative tumors are more prevalent in younger [4] and in black women [4] [5]. They account for 27% of breast cancer cases diagnosed in premenopausal African Americans, 25% in younger black British women, and 27% in all indigenous Africans [6] [7]. "
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