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22-09-2016 | Colorectal cancer | News | Article

News in brief

Adverse African–American CRC outcomes may have genetic basis

medwireNews: The disparity in colorectal cancer (CRC) clinical outcomes between African–American patients and those of other ethnicities could be down to a panel of 15 genes.

Researcher Joseph Willis (Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cleveland, Ohio, USA) and co-authors previously found that these genes were mutated significantly more often in CRCs in African Americans than in Caucasian patients.

And now they show that tumours harbouring these mutated genes are more likely to recur.

Among 66 stage I–III CRC patients treated at Case Medical Center, eight of 27 mutation-positive cases experienced disease recurrence compared with four of 39 mutation-negative patients, giving a significant hazard ratio of 3.92.

The findings were similar when just participants with stage III disease were considered, the study authors report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Highlighting the single-centre study design, they comment: “Although the association of this mutational panel with ethnicity and clinical outcome is striking, it is certainly possible that these mutations are a marker of a confounding exposure or other epidemiologic difference that is unique to this community.

“Thus, further validation studies with patient cohorts from various regions of the country are warranted.”

By Shreeya Nanda

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2016