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The breast cancer mortality gap between Black and white patients can be attributed to many factors, including socioeconomic variables, tumor biology, and genomic architecture. Detailed analyses of this gap have been well-documented in the literature, but the effect size of race across different breast cancer subtypes and survival outcomes has not been studied at length.

This study, published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, relied on a cohort at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center. The study included a total of 2,795 patients with stage 1 to stage 3 breast cancer. It focused on five survival outcomes: overall survival, recurrence-free survival, breast-cancer-specific survival, time-to-recurrence, and post-recurrence survival.

The researchers used data from the cohort to estimate the hazard ratios between Black and white patients, adjusting for patient, tumor, and treatment characteristics and cancer subtype variables.

Ultimately, it was found that Black patients had worse outcomes than white patients in all five survival outcomes. The disparity was largest in the HR-/HER2+ subgroup. The researchers concluded that their study confirms the racial disparity in breast cancer survival and recurrence between Black and white patients [1].


[1] Zhao, F., Copley, B., Niu, Q., Liu, F., Johnson, J. A., Sutton, T., Khramtsova, G., Sveen, E., Yoshimatsu, T. F., Zheng, Y., Ibraheem, A., Jaskowiak, N., Nanda, R., Fleming, G. F., Olopade, O. I., & Huo, D. (2020). Racial disparities in survival outcomes among breast cancer patients by molecular subtypes. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 185(3), 841–849. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10549-020-05984-w

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