Genetic Variant in Black People May Explain Cancer Risk Differences Among Races

A new study suggests that frequent threats to malaria may have prompted ancient Africans to evolve immune systems with a more robust response to inflammation. Though malaria is no longer a threat to those of African descent who live in the U.S., the genetic variant remains, and may affect current health disparities.

Individuals with different ethnic backgrounds have different susceptibility to certain illnesses and infections and a new study, published online in Plos Genetics, aimed to explore what may be at the root of these differences. The study specifically explored how the immune system triggers inflammation. For the study, the team led by Dr. Song Yao of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center analyzed the DNA of 914 people with African ancestry and 855 people with European ancestry….

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