Black and White: Genetic Differences in Tumors Mean Different Survival Rates
The New York Times' Roni Caryn Rabin on Monday reported on a landmark study that may help explain why whites seem to outlive blacks when they have been diagnosed with the same type of cancer.
The study by University of Maryland researchers, published in the September issue of the journal Cancer Prevention Research, suggests that the throat tumors of whites were far more often caused by the human papilloma virus. HPV-caused tumors responded better to chemotherapy and radiation treatment than non-HPV tumors.
"The racial gap has often been explained as a result of late diagnosis among African-Americans, lack of access to care and less aggressive treatment, but experts said that in the case of oropharyngeal cancer, there appeared to be distinct biological differences between the tumors."
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