Sunday, November 22, 2015

Cancer Treatment Outcomes Influenced by Race

      The effectiveness of cancer treatments is contingent upon several factors and one of those factors has been found to be race. Using lymphoblastoid cells from 589 patients, researchers attempted to identify the correlation between ethnicity and drug potency. Patients identified themselves as either Hispanic or Non-Hispanic/Caucasian. The variability in drug response to show a relationship to genetic ancestry and race, specifically, the drug tremozolomide which treats brain tumors. John Jack, Ph.D, the lead author and researcher stated, “The developing field of "Personalized" or "precision medicine" will leverage these types of data to help inform a doctor's decision on selecting the optimal drug and dose for each patient.”
            I personally was interested in this article because it seemed to relate to the research I’m apart of, studying responses to radiotherapy of African-Americans with head and neck cancers versus European-Americans as discussed in the link below. However, I find it restricting that the only races one could choose from was Hispanic or Non-Hispanic/Caucasian. The article says that race and drug efficacy are related but doesn’t state how, just that it does. A less broad study with more informative results of the same topic could truly benefit our perspective of cancer treatment.  

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