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Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2019 Mar 1;11:136-160.

Targeting risk factors for reducing the racially disparate burden in breast cancer.

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Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303.
University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40504.
Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322.
Department of Biology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.
Department of Biology, International Consortium for Advancing Research on Triple Negative Breast Cancer, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA,


African-American (AA) women are more likely to die from breast cancer (BC), at any age, compared to European-American women. Although breakthroughs in pre-clinical studies have resulted in potentially actionable targets in AA BC, drugs that were rationally designed for these targets have performed poorly in clinical trials. Challenges with interpatient and intratumoral heterogeneity, lack of drug sensitivity and specificity, suboptimal biomarker cut-offs, lack of drug response predictive biomarkers, drug side effects, high costs of drug development, and under-representation of AAs in clinical trials complicate the development of targeted therapies for AA BC patients. Accumulating evidence suggests that racial disparities exist in non-genetic risk factors that can alter genetic and epigenetic programs to promote breast tumorigenesis. Herein, we present a "roadmap" that addresses non-genetic risk factors that are suspected to contribute to the racial disparity in BC mortality. Increased targeting of these non-genetic risk factors may proffer a safer and more economical route to alleviating the racially disparate burden in BC.


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