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Karmanos Physician-Scientists Examine Racial Disparities in,Patients with Gynecologic Cancer

DETROIT, April 16, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- Karmanos Cancer Institute physician-scientists today reported on two research studies investigating racial disparities in patients with gynecologic cancer at the American Association of Cancer Research annual meeting in Los Angeles, CA.

Caucasian patients with endometrial or ovarian cancer, on average, live longer than their African American counterparts. Led by Veronica Schimp, D.O., assistant professor of gynecologic oncology, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, two studies were conducted to determine if this stems from the molecular composition of the tumor, or the aggressiveness of the treatment plan. Dr. Schimp's presentation, Outcomes of Endometrial and Ovarian Cancer Treatment and Ethnicity, was part of the conference's Minorities in Cancer Research Forum.

Endometrial Cancer Patients - Racial Disparities at the Molecular Level?

Dr. Schimp's team analyzed the molecular profiles of endometrial cancer in a group of 150 Caucasian and African American patients using a number of known molecular markers. The tumors' expression of these markers was compared based on ethnicity and tumor type (Type I = endometrioid carcinomas, hormone-related tumors and Type II = non-endometrioid carcinomas, non-hormone related tumors which are more clinically aggressive).

"Upon conclusion of the five-year study, we found the molecular profiles were similar between the two ethnic groups," explains Dr. Schimp. "While African American patients with endometrial cancer seemed to show a trend toward a shorter survival, this seemed to be mainly due to their higher proportion of Type II tumors which are more aggressive by nature."

Ovarian Cancer Patients - Racial Disparities Based on Treatment Plan?

Karmanos researchers conducted a study to determine whether the survival rates among African Americans with ovarian cancer are shorter than those
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