The study of genetics for cancer research has become a priority in the oncology community. With the introduction of the Genomic Data Commons, the importance of understanding genetic markers in cancer populations may lead to new ways of treating the numerous forms of the disease. 

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) launched a study to help identify breast cancer risk among African American women. The study builds on the research from 18 previous studies, with more than 20,000 African American women who have had breast cancer. 

“This effort is about making sure that all Americans – no matter their background – reap the same benefits from the promising advances of precision medicine. The exciting new approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment ring hollow unless we can effectively narrow the gap of cancer disparities, and this new research initiative will help us do that,” Douglas Lowy, MD, acting director of NCI, said. “I’m hopeful about where this new research can take us, not only in addressing the unique breast cancer profiles of African-American women, but also in learning more about the origin of cancer disparities.”

Other aspects of the study include grant opportunities, training sessions, and public health awareness campaigns.