Examination of ancestral informative markers and self-reported race with tumor characteristics of breast cancer among black and white women

Kerryn W. Reding, Christopher S. Carlson, Orsalem Kahsai, Christina C. Chen, Andrew McDavid, David R. Doody, Chu Chen, India Ornelas, Kimberly Lowe, Leslie Bernstein, Linda Weiss, Jill A. McDonald, Michael S. Simon, Brian Strom, Polly A. Marchbanks, Ronald Burkman, Robert Spirtas, Jonathan M. Liff, Kathleen E. Malone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


African American (AA) women have a higher mortality from breast cancer (BC) compared to European American (EA) women. This may be due to the higher proportion of AA women with tumors that are diagnosed at more advanced stages and are characterized as being estrogen receptor negative (ER-)/progesterone receptor negative (PR-). Our study sought to determine whether self-reported race and percent African ancestry were associated with BC tumor characteristics. In a multi-center, population-based case-control study of BC, we determined percent African ancestry using ancestry informative markers (AIM) among women self-reporting race as AA or Black. BC tumor characteristics were associated with self-reported race (including a 30 % reduction in ER?/PR? tumors [95 % confidence interval [CI]:0.6-0.9] and a 1.5-fold increased risk of high grade [95 % CI:1.2-1.9] for AA women compared to EA women). AIMs among AA women were not associated with BC tumor characteristics (AA women with C95 % versus <80 % African ancestry, odds ratio [OR] = 1.0 for ER+/PR+ [95 % CI:0.6-1.8] and OR = 0.9 for high-grade tumors [95 % CI:0.6-1.4]). Similar findings were observed for BC stage. While BC subtypes were associated with self-reported race, BC subtypes were not associated with percent African ancestry. These study results suggest that subtle differences in percent African ancestry are less important than the overall presence of African ancestry in relation to BC tumor characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-809
Number of pages9
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


  • Ancestry informative markers
  • Breast cancer
  • Self-reported race
  • Tumor characteristics


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