Dr. Polak on Evaluation of Cancer Genomes in Ghana Utilizing Liquid Biopsies


Paz Polak, PhD, discusses research that evaluated cancer genomes in Ghana through the use of liquid biopsies.

Paz Polak, PhD, an assistant professor of oncology sciences; genetics and genomic sciences; medicine, hematology and medical oncology; and pathology, molecular and cell-based medicine at Mount Sinai, discusses research that evaluated cancer genomes in Ghana through the use of liquid biopsies.

Findings presented during the 2021 Virtual AACR Annual Meeting identified a specific copy number amplification in chromosome 8p23, according to Polak. The amplification appears to occur more frequently in patients from Ghana than in the European population, Polak explains. Although this amplification was specific to luminal B tumors in European women, this was not the case in the Ghanaian women. In the Ghanaian population, it was found in those with triple-negative breast cancer, luminal A tumors, and others.

Although the implications of these findings are not yet understood, it is known that in European patients, the amplification has been associated with more aggressive disease, late recurrence, and shorter overall survival, Polak says. Investigators are still trying to determine how this will be translated to the Ghanian population, but this research may help to identify new targets or encourage the development of agents that target FGFR1 or NSD3, Polak concludes.

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