African American (AA) women are often diagnosed with more aggressive breast cancers and have worse survival outcomes than their Caucasian American (CA) counterparts. However, a comprehensive understanding of this disparity remains unclear. In this study, we attempted to identify the race-specific non-invasive protein biomarkers that may particularly benefit interventions aimed at reducing the risk of recurrence and metastasis in breast cancers (BrCa). Our technical strategy has been to discover candidate protein biomarkers in patient sera using a high throughput antibody microarray platform. A total of 240 subjects were selected, composed of controls and all immunohistochemistry-based subtypes of breast cancer cases, subdivided by pre- A nd post-menopausal status and by race. A global Wilcoxon analysis comparing no-cancer controls and cancer patients identified Pyk2, SAPK/JNK, and phosphatase and tensin homolog as present in higher concentrations in cancer patient serum. A paired t-test revealed that c-kit and Rb are significantly over-represented in AA cancer serum when compared to CA cancer serum. Interestingly, VEGFR2, a protein linked to BrCa metastasis and poor prognosis, was significantly over-represented in AA cancer serum compared to AA controls; however, this was not found in CA cancer serum compared to CA controls, suggesting a possible explanation for the higher incidence of aggressive BrCa in AA versus CA patients. Through examining race-specific differences in the protein landscape of BrCa patient serum, the identified proteins could lay the groundwork for the development of an all-inclusive "liquid mammogram test."
- breast cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health