Breast cancer drug may prove less efficient for African population

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An article on ScienceNews.com, written by Saima S. Iqbal, highlights a genetic variation prevalent in some Africans that compromises the effectiveness of tamoxifen, a breast cancer drug. This variant produces a slower enzyme, causing a significant reduction in active drug levels in individuals carrying two copies. As a result, these patients might not receive sufficient doses for cancer treatment. Solutions proposed include larger initial drug doses or metabolic screenings. Doubling the drug amount increased active levels with minimal short-term consequences in Zimbabwean participants. Experts advocate for simpler tests to improve breast cancer treatment, especially in regions like sub-Saharan Africa with limited treatment access. While this genetic variant might explain reduced drug efficacy, it’s just one aspect among numerous factors influencing cancer outcomes. Further research is necessary, particularly in African American populations, to fully understand its impact on breast cancer treatment efficacy.

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