Call to consider ethnicity in breast cancer treatments

Ethnicity should be taken into account when developing treatments for breast cancer, say UK researchers.

Emerging evidence suggests that particular drugs may benefit people from one ethnic group more than others. However, most key trials looking at treatments for breast cancer are carried out in predominantly white populations.

Writing in a comment piece in The Lancet lead author Dr Carlo Palmeri, from Imperial College London, said: ‘Everyone responds differently to treatment and it’s often very difficult to predict how well someone will respond to a particular drug.

‘However, evidence is now emerging that shows how your genes might influence whether or not a particular treatment can help you.

‘There are small genetic differences between people from different ethnic backgrounds and it is really important that we find out whether these genetic differences mean that certain drugs perform well in people from certain ethnic groups but not in others.’

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

The Lancet

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