Sequencing genomes of Nigerian women could help prevent many lethal breast cancers

IMAGE: This is study author Olufunmilayo Olopade, M.D., Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. view more 

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Credit: The University of Chicago Medicine

For the first time, DNA contributed by Sub-Saharan African women has been thoroughly evaluated with innovative genomics technology in an effort to understand the genetic bases for breast cancer in African populations.

African and African American women are more likely than women of other ancestries to develop and to die from triple-negative breast cancer. In the August 21, 2018 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, a multinational research team identifies the genes responsible for inherited breast cancer in Nigerian women.

The Nigerian Breast Cancer Study, based in Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria, has been in the field for more than 20 years. During this period, breast cancer incidence throughout the country has steadily increased.

“This is the first study to use high-throughput genomic analysis of African women,” said study author Olufunmilayo Olopade, MD, Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics, director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and associate dean for Global Health at the University of Chicago.

“Based on state-of-the-art genomic technologies, two things were clear,” added co-author Mary-Claire King, PhD, American Cancer Society


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