Breast cancer in latinas: Gene expression, differential response to treatments, and differential toxicities in latinas compared with other population groups

Tejal A. Patel, Gerardo Colon-Otero, Celyne Bueno Hume, John A III Copland, Edith A. Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


Disparities in clinical outcomes of breast cancer have been described among different racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. Convincing data exist showing that Latina women have a lower incidence of breast cancer but a higher breast cancer-related mortality rate compared with white women. Noticeable differences in breast cancer incidence are present even within different Latina subsets with a higher incidence in secondand third-generation women compared with foreign born. An increasing amount of data exists pointing to significant differences in the genetics and biology of breast cancer in Latinas as a significant contributor to the higher mortality, including a higher incidence of triple-negative breast cancers (which do not overexpress HER-2 protein and are negative for estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors). Other social and environmental factors are likely to play a significant role as well, including a lower rate of screening mammography, variable access to medical care, among others. Recent data are inconclusive regarding differences among racial/ethnic groups in the response to chemotherapy. Data on racial/ethnic variations in the pharmacogenomics of chemotherapy, endocrine treatments, and toxicity are more limited, with some data suggesting differences in frequencies of polymorphisms of genes involved in the metabolism of some of these agents. Further studies are needed on this subject.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-475
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010



  • Access to health care
  • Breast cancer
  • Gene expression
  • Hispanics
  • Latina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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