BU-CTSI KL2 Awardee: Dr. Traci Bethea

Dr. Traci N. Bethea received a 2017 KL2 fellowship for “An assessment of whether aspirin improves breast cancer outcomes in Black women and modifying effect of genetic variants.” Dr. Bethea’s goal for the project is to develop the expertise to understand and address factors that may influence breast cancer survivorship, particularly among underrepresented populations, with an emphasis on modifiable factors. An important part of her project is the development of expertise in the statistical analysis of survival and genetic data in order to assess the influence of genetic variants. Breast cancer mortality is disproportionately high in Black women compared to White women and roughly one-third of breast tumors in Black women are hormone receptor negative, a subtype associated with poorer prognosis. Evidence from studies of White women suggests that use of aspirin/nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may improve prognosis, but there is a need for information on factors that will improve survival for hormone receptor negative tumors. If aspirin/NSAIDs use affects breast cancer recurrence and mortality in Black women, particularly for receptor negative tumors, these agents would provide feasible and cost-effective points of intervention. Additional data on genetic variation will help to identify those patients most likely to benefit from aspirin/NSAID use.

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