Presentation Title (IN ALL CAPS)

PILOT PROJECT TO INVESTIGATE SURVIVIN AS A MARKER OF BREAST CANCER DISPARITY

Departmental Affiliation and City, State, Zip for All Authors

Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, Fort Worth, TX 76107; College of Pharmacy, Fort Worth, TX 76107; Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, , Fort Worth, TX 76107

Classification

UNTHSC Faculty

Research Presentation Category

Translational Research

Layperson Narrative or Summary (3-5 sentences)

Breast cancer disproportionately affects black women compared to white women leading to higher rates, poor prognosis, and worse survival for these women. In this study we will determine the expression levels Survivin, a protein that is associated with aggressive cancers and poor prognosis, in breast cancer tissue samples. We propose that this protein is expressed at higher levels in black women with breast cancer compared to white women. Identifying biological factors and understanding the mechanisms that result in disparity will help to design novel preventive, diagnostic, and treatment strategies that can contribute to reducing this health disparity.

Scientific Abstract

Despite the advances made in diagnosis and treatment, resulting in improved overall breast cancer survival, health disparity in treatment and outcomes continues to exist. The overall incidence of breast cancer is higher in white women compared to black, however mortality remains significantly higher among black women. Also, black women tend to be diagnosed with breast cancer at an earlier stage, have more advanced cancer such as triple negative breast cancer, and have poor prognosis and survival rates compared to white women for the same type of cancer. Factors such as socioeconomic status, access to health care, and education fail to fully explain this health disparity Understanding the role of biological factors behind the existence of this disparity may provide opportunities for novel strategies targeting these factors to improve diagnosis and prognosis for this vulnerable population. Survivin (BIRC5) is a protein that belongs to the Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein family. Its expression is associated with poor prognosis and resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy in several cancers, including breast cancer. However, no studies have correlated its expression with race or ethnicity. In this pilot project we will determine the expression of Survivin in breast cancer tissue samples from patients, and use existing genomic databases to correlate Survivin expression with race or ethnicity. Studies will also be carried out to understand the mechanism by which elevated Survivin level contributes to poor prognosis and outcomes for black women. The long term goal of this project is to develop Survivin for diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

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PILOT PROJECT TO INVESTIGATE SURVIVIN AS A MARKER OF BREAST CANCER DISPARITY

Despite the advances made in diagnosis and treatment, resulting in improved overall breast cancer survival, health disparity in treatment and outcomes continues to exist. The overall incidence of breast cancer is higher in white women compared to black, however mortality remains significantly higher among black women. Also, black women tend to be diagnosed with breast cancer at an earlier stage, have more advanced cancer such as triple negative breast cancer, and have poor prognosis and survival rates compared to white women for the same type of cancer. Factors such as socioeconomic status, access to health care, and education fail to fully explain this health disparity Understanding the role of biological factors behind the existence of this disparity may provide opportunities for novel strategies targeting these factors to improve diagnosis and prognosis for this vulnerable population. Survivin (BIRC5) is a protein that belongs to the Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein family. Its expression is associated with poor prognosis and resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy in several cancers, including breast cancer. However, no studies have correlated its expression with race or ethnicity. In this pilot project we will determine the expression of Survivin in breast cancer tissue samples from patients, and use existing genomic databases to correlate Survivin expression with race or ethnicity. Studies will also be carried out to understand the mechanism by which elevated Survivin level contributes to poor prognosis and outcomes for black women. The long term goal of this project is to develop Survivin for diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.