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African-American chemo reaction differs

ATLANTA, June 5 (UPI) -- A U.S. and Canadian study suggests that African-Americans respond differently to standard chemotherapy treatments for advanced colorectal cancer.

For both black men and women, cancers of the colon and rectum are the third most common cause of cancer death. In addition, death rates for cancer of the colon and rectum among blacks are about 30 percent higher than among whites.

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The study of 1,412 participants all had advanced colorectal cancer including Africa-American similar to whites in extent of disease, gender, age-range and prior treatment.

However, African-Americans had a "significantly lower response rate" overall, according to Dr. Richard M. Goldberg, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The African-Americans showed a 29 percent response rate vs. whites' 41 percent response rate.

The findings were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meetings in Atlanta.

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