Tuskegee Researchers Devise New Breast Cancer Test

Jun 25, 2018

Dr. Clayton Yates, director of Tuskegee Center for Biomedical Research

A new study from Tuskegee University may change the way breast cancer is diagnosed in the U.S.

Tuskegee researchers have developed a new test that more accurately determines the specific subtype of breast cancer that needs to be treated. Researchers say this will be particularly helpful for African-American women. Studies show black women are more likely to be diagnosed later in life, and are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer after their initial diagnosis than white women.

Dr. Clayton Yates is the director of Tuskegee’s Center for Biomedical Research. He says the best thing about the new test is it’s very easy for doctors to adopt.

“It’s the same exact technique for this new marker. You’re just looking for one additional biomarker, so it’s readily available for people to incorporate. There wouldn’t be any new reagents or costs or machines that are needed. It can be routinely done in any clinic or hospital across the country.”

Dr. Yates says one of the challenges in conducting his research was a lack of tissue samples from women of color. He’s encouraging minority women, particularly African-American women, to consider donating tissue to science to help foster medical breakthroughs like this one.