African-American women with HR-positive breast cancer face higher risk for disease recurrence and inferior survival compared with women of other races, according to research presented at the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Background information accompanying the findings indicated that previous research has shown that African-American women have worse outcomes in operable breast cancer.
The study included 4,817 women, 405 of whom were African-Americans with stage 1 to 3 axillary lymph node-positive or high-risk node-negative breast cancer who had undergone surgery. Participants received doxorubicin and taxane-containing chemotherapy plus standard hormonal therapy.
“We found that black patients exhibited similar adherence to the chemotherapy and hormonal therapy, and they didn’t do worse if they had other breast cancer subtypes,” revealed Joseph A. Sprano, MD, professor of medicine and women’s heart at Albert Einstein Medical College of Medicine. “This indicated that black women with HR-positive breast cancer are more prone to have disease recurrence despite state-of-the-art medical care.”
Researchers further reported that not only were the worse outcomes seen only in those with HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer, but when controlled for other factors to the extent possible, African-Americans still demonstrated a less promising outcome that other races.
Additional studies are being planned to evaluate whether these findings can be attributed to differences in African-American women’s ability to metabolize hormonal therapies.