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Cancer Res. 2017 Jan 15;77(2):423-433. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-1959. Epub 2016 Nov 15.

Integrative Comparison of mRNA Expression Patterns in Breast Cancers from Caucasian and Asian Americans with Implications for Precision Medicine.

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Department of medical oncology, Sun Yet-sen University cancer center, Collaborative Innovation Center of Cancer Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Guangdong, PR China.
Department of statistics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306.
No. 2 High school of East China Normal University, Shanghai, 201203, China.
Center for Human Genetics, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, WI 54449, USA.
Biomedical Informatics Research Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, WI 54449, USA.
Contributed equally


Asian Americans (AS) have significantly lower incidence and mortality rates of breast cancer than Caucasian Americans (CA). Although this racial disparity has been documented, the underlying pathogenetic factors explaining it are obscure. We addressed this issue by an integrative genomics approach to compare mRNA expression between AS and CA cases of breast cancer. RNA-seq data from the Cancer Genome Atlas showed that mRNA expression revealed significant differences at gene and pathway levels. Increased susceptibility and severity in CA patients were likely the result of synergistic environmental and genetic risk factors, with arachidonic acid metabolism and PPAR signaling pathways implicated in linking environmental and genetic factors. An analysis that also added eQTL data from the Genotype-Tissue Expression Project and SNP data from the 1,000 Genomes Project identified several SNPs associated with differentially expressed genes. Overall, the associations we identified may enable a more focused study of genotypic differences that may help explain the disparity in breast cancer incidence and mortality rates in CA and AS populations and inform precision medicine. Cancer Res; 77(2); 423-33.

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