Skip to main content
An official website of the United States government
Grant Details

Grant Number: 5R01CA228156-04 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Yao, Song
Organization: Roswell Park Cancer Institute Corp
Project Title: Somatic Mutations and Their Etiological Determinants for Breast Cancer in African American Women
Fiscal Year: 2022


Project Summary/ Abstract. The breast cancer health disparity between women of African ancestry (AA) and European ancestry (EA) remains a huge public health challenge in the US. AA women are afflicted by a high rate of the triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), and bear the highest mortality rate of all populations from the disease. Even within TNBC, some data suggest AA women fare worse than EA women. Mounting evidence points to possible population differences in cancer biology, a fundamental question that remains unsettled. The disparity also manifests in representativeness in tumor genomic sequencing projects. The existing data of breast tumor mutations are dominated by cases from EA populations, which may not represent AA cancer genomes. Moreover, as discovery potential for new driver genes has come close to a plateau, cancer genomes in AAs raised in distinct genetic and environmental context may provide a powerful venue for uncovering mutations that are rare in EA cases. This is clearly showcased in recent studies in other cancer types. Thus, we propose here a study to characterize the mutational landscape of AA breast cancer genomes by pooling resources from five studies, which will create the largest AA tumor mutation dataset. We hypothesize that endogenous and exogenous exposures leave characteristic mutational signatures on cancer genome, providing a trackable historic record of cancer etiology and heterogeneity. Thus, we will investigate etiological links of tumor mutations with genetic and environmental factors by leveraging the available rich epidemiologic and genotype data resources. We have four Specific Aims. First, we will characterize mutational landscape of TNBC in AA women by performing whole-exome sequencing and RNA-sequencing of 500 tumors. We will identify and compare significantly mutated genes and mutational signatures in AA TNBC cases with EA cases from public data sources, to test whether there are population-level differences. Second, based on data from Aim 1 and published literature, we will assemble a targeted gene panel and sequence an additional 2,500 AA tumors, inclusive of all subtypes. The design will cover all genes included in B-CAST, an ongoing breast tumor sequencing project of EA cases in Europe. Data generated in Aim 2 will be used to validate SMGs identified in Aim 1, and to further assess population-level mutational differences in comparison to EA data from B-CAST and others across all cancer subtypes. Third, we will examine etiological links between hormone-related risk factors for breast cancer and somatic mutations. Fourth, we will examine genetic ancestry and genetic variants with tumor mutations. On the basis of the data above, we will identify breast cancer etiological subtypes using an integrative analytical approach. The proposed work will greatly advance the field of breast cancer research by characterizing tumor mutational landscape in AA populations and determining whether cancer biology at the somatic mutation level differs by ancestral population. The findings may have translational significance by revealing cancer causation and providing new targets and motivations for cancer preventive initiatives.


Association of ESR1 germline variants with TP53 somatic variants in breast tumors in a genome-wide study.
Authors: Tjader N.P. , Beer A.J. , Ramroop J. , Tai M.C. , Ping J. , Gandhi T. , Dauch C. , Neuhausen S.L. , Ziv E. , Sotelo N. , et al. .
Source: medRxiv : the preprint server for health sciences, 2023-12-06; , .
EPub date: 2023-12-06.
PMID: 38106140
Related Citations

Results and lessons from dual extraction of DNA and RNA from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded breast tumor tissues for a large Cancer epidemiologic study.
Authors: Ondracek R.P. , Chen J. , Marosy B. , Szewczyk S. , Medico L. , Mohan A.S. , Nair P. , Pratt R. , Roh J.M. , Khoury T. , et al. .
Source: BMC genomics, 2022-08-25; 23(1), p. 614.
EPub date: 2022-08-25.
PMID: 36008758
Related Citations

Back to Top