ROCHESTER, Minn. — The genetic makeup of colon cancer tumors and survival rates for patients with the disease differ by race, according to a study from researchers at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, published in the October 2015 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
“These findings put the issue of race more prominently on the radar of investigators that cancer biology may contribute to race-based disparities,” says the study’s co-lead author, Harry Yoon, M.D., an oncologist at Mayo Clinic. “While it is too early to change the way we treat these patients, our results indicate that future studies are needed to examine potential biological drivers of these differences more closely.”
According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women with more than 93,000 cases estimated to be diagnosed in 2015. Researchers have long known that blacks develop colon cancer at an earlier age and blacks with colon cancer are at higher risk of dying than whites. However, it has been difficult to identify why the differences in survival exist.
Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Yoon are available in the downloads.
MEDIA CONTACT: Joe Dangor, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, email@example.com