Folate Modulated Genes May Affect Differences in Breast Cancer Risk Between African-Americans and European-Americans

Folate Modulated Genes May Affect Differences in Breast Cancer Risk Between African-Americans and European-Americans
In a new study entitled “Genetic variants in one-carbon metabolism genes and breast cancer risk in European American (EA) and African American (AA) women” researchers identified differences in genetic variants associated with breast cancer risk between European American and African-American women. Notably, these changes are modulated with dietary folate intake and may be a cause for increased incidence of aggressive breast cancer in African-American women. The study was published in the International Journal of Cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, responsible for an estimated annual death toll of 40,290 women in 2015, according to the American Cancer Society. Notably, while breast cancer incidence is higher in European American women, African-American women are more prone to develop and die from aggressive types of breast cancer, namely estrogen receptor (ER)-negative tumors. However, while this fact has been established for quite some time, the underlying cause for this racial difference remains largely unknown. Past epidemiological studies suggested that decreased dietary intake of folate increases breast cancer risk. Folate is a key factor of one-carbon metabolic pathways that are important for DNA synthesis, establishing a role between genetics and dietary intake. Accordingly, genetic variants were already found in the folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism pathway and linked to breast cancer risk; however, these were never assessed in African-American women. Moreover, previous research focused only on a small number of genes and functional polymorphism (i.e., those that have been proven to influence gene functions). [adrotate group="3"] In this study, a team of researchers at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPIC) and collaborato
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