HealthDay News — Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) may be prognostic for early-stage triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) among African-American (AA) patients, according to a study presented at the 10th AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held from September 25 to 28 in Atlanta.

Noting that AA patients present with TNBC with more aggressive clinicopathological characteristics and have poorer outcomes than European-American (EA) women, Nikita Wright, from Georgia State University in Atlanta, and colleagues compared overall TILs in resection samples from 142 TNBC patients. 

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The researchers observed a trend of more TILs among AA versus EA patients (P=0.06). AAs harbored significantly more TILs than EAs among early-stage (I to II) (P=0.019), but not late-stage (III to IV), patients (P=0.86). There was a negative correlation for more TILs with younger age at diagnosis (P=0.03) and carcinoma in situ (P=0.06) among early-stage AA TNBC patients, and positive correlations with intramammary lymph node involvement (P=0.002), tubule formation (P=0.07), and Nottingham grade (P=0.08). Compared with early-stage EA patients, TILs correlated positively with five- and 10-year survival more strongly among AA patients (P<0.05).

“This insight is clinically actionable and of great potential value for guiding treatment of these patients so that their survival may be improved,” Wright said in a statement.

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