Title: Analysis of Racial/Ethnic Representation in Select Basic and Applied Cancer Research Studies
Author: Guerrero, S., López-Cortés, A., Indacochea, A. et al.
Journal: Scientific Reports
Date: 09/18/2018
Tags: Cancer Epidemiology, Cancer Prevention
Link: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-32264-x
Summary: This report assesses fundamental cancer research and the discrepancies within the studies in regard to race. This study evaluates the proportion of racial and ethnic representation within patient-derived oncological models (n=764), biobank samples (n=8,293), and genomic project samples (n=6,765,447) to indicate a lack of racial/ethnic information and overrepresentation of Caucasian/White samples/individuals. The results derived from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) patient-derived model repository (PDMR) reported the majority of tumor samples and cancer cell line (n=794) had no record of race (48.3%), and the remaining samples were isolated from Caucasian/White at 37.5%, while only 10% were Asian, 3.8% were African American, and 0.4% were Hispanic. Similarly, biobanks collected from the Tissue Array Research Program (TARP) repository, the Penn-CHOP Tumor Tissue Bank, the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC), and the Komen Tissue Bank indicated 24.5% of samples found no data on race/ethnicity, while 59% were isolated from White people, only 11% Black people, 4.3% Asian, and 0.87 Hispanic. Additionally, results from cancer genomics obtained by genome-wide association studies showed 0.64% of unreported racial/ethnic information while 91% of individuals were White/European, and only 5.45% Asian, 0.55% Hispanic, and 0.33% other races. These percentages point to a large disproportion between White/Caucasian samples and other races in the United States. While the numbers can be perhaps skewed by the kinds of cancer cells sampled and location, the need to diversify oncological research is apparent not only for accurate population sampling but also because different races have unique biomarkers that predict the risk of pathological outcomes.