A study has found that genetic indicators could play a factor in the success of some types of cancer treatment.
Scientists discovered that African-American patients diagnosed with breast, ovarian and prostate cancer had a shorter life-span than people from other races with the same cancer who received identical treatment.
The research, published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute, involved the analysis of up to 20,000 patient records obtained from 35 clinical trials.
Oncologist Dr Dawn Hershman, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center and co-director of the breast cancer programme at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, offered her thoughts on the study's findings.
She commented: "The findings from these two studies are important as they suggest a possible role for biologic factors such as genetics, hormonal factors, comorbid conditions and tumor biology in cancer disparities."
Cancer was responsible for the death of 7.6 million people throughout the world in 2007, the American Cancer Society reported.