Breast cancer subtype and survival among Indigenous American women in Peru

Lizeth I. Tamayo, Tatiana Vidaurre, Jeannie Navarro Vásquez, Sandro Casavilca, Jessica I. Aramburu Palomino, Monica Calderon, Julio E. Abugattas, Henry L. Gomez, Carlos A. Castaneda, Sikai Song, Daniel Cherry, Garth H. Rauscher, Laura Fejerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Latina women in the U.S. have relatively low breast cancer incidence compared to Non-Latina White (NLW) or African American women but are more likely to be diagnosed with the more aggressive “triple negative” breast cancer (TNBC). Latinos in the U.S. are a heterogeneous group originating from different countries with different cultural and ancestral backgrounds. Little is known about the distribution of tumor subtypes in Latin American regions. Clinical records of 303 female Peruvian patients, from the Peruvian National Cancer Institute, were analyzed. Participants were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 2010 and 2015 and were identified as residing in either the Selva or Sierra region. We used Fisher’s exact test for proportions and multivariable Cox Proportional Hazards Models to compare overall survival between regions. Women from the Selva region were more likely to be diagnosed with TNBC than women from the Sierra region (31% vs. 14%, p = 0.01). In the unadjusted Cox model, the hazard of mortality was 1.7 times higher in women from the Selva than the Sierra (p = 0.025); this survival difference appeared to be largely explained by differences in the prevalence of TNBC. Our results suggest that the distribution of breast cancer subtypes differs between highly Indigenous American women from two regions of Peru. Disentangling the factors that contribute to this difference will add valuable information to better target prevention and treatment efforts in Peru and improve our understanding of TNBC among all women. This study demonstrates the need for larger datasets of Latin American patients to address differences between Latino subpopulations and optimize targeted prevention and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0201287
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018


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