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Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2019 Mar 1;11:75-88.

The persisting puzzle of racial disparity in triple negative breast cancer: looking through a new lens.

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Department of Biology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, India.
Department of Biology, International Consortium for Advancing Research on Triple Negative Breast Cancer, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA,


Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is characterized by the absence of estrogen and progesterone receptors and absence of amplification of human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2). This disease has no approved treatment with a poor prognosis particularly in African-American (AA) as compared to European-American (EA) patients. Gene ontology analysis showed specific gene pathways that are differentially regulated and gene signatures that are differentially expressed in AA as compared to EA. Such differences might underlie the basis for the aggressive nature and poor prognosis of TNBC in AA patients. In-depth studies of these pathways and differential genetic signature might give significant clues to improve our understanding of tumor biology associated with AA TNBC to advance the prognosis and survival rates. Along with gene ontology analysis, we suggest that post-translational modifications (PTM) could also play a crucial role in the dismal survival rate of AA TNBC patients. Further investigations are necessary to explore this terrain of PTMs to identify the racially disparate burden in TNBC.


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