Items of Interest

Cancer Research Opportunities for Youth (CROY)

CROY is an initiative from Yale Cancer Center meant to provide young people from local communities with hands-on experience, mentoring, and collaboration within the cancer research pipeline. To qualify for this program, you must identify with a group that is underrepresented in cancer research and willing to commit to working two summers in the cancer center. In general, this refers to individuals who are Hispanic/Latino, Black or African American. However, other students may also qualify for this program.

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  • Yale New Haven Hospital is a 2016 leader in LGBT Healthcare as designated by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation

Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) has been recognized as a leader in LGBT healthcare equality by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization. Bridgeport and Greenwich hospitals, also part of Yale New Haven Health System, earned the same honor.

  • NCI launches largest-ever study of breast cancer genetics in black women

The largest study ever to investigate how genetic and biological factors contribute to breast cancer risk among black women launched. This collaborative research project will identify genetic factors that may underlie breast cancer disparities. The effort is funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

  • Six Postdoctoral Fellowship Positions Available in the CDU/UCLA Cancer Center Partnership to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities

Recently, under the leadership of Dr. Jay Vadgama (Vice President for Research and Health Affairs), the CDU/UCLA Cancer Center Partnership was refunded by NCI/NIH for another 5 years to continue its research in cancer disparities in South Los Angeles. The Center has 6 Post-Doctoral Fellow positions available in the basic sciences, with funding for a minimum of 2 years and up to 5 years supported by the grant. 

  • JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY REPORT- Racial Differences in the Use and Outcome of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer: Results From the National Cancer Database
Authors: Brigid K. Killelea, Vicky Q. Yang, Shi-Yi Wang, Brandon Hayse, Sarah Mougalian, Nina R. Horowitz, Anees B. Chagpar, Lajos Pusztai, and Donald R. Lannin

To explore racial differences in the use and outcome of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer.


The National Cancer Database was queried to identify women with stage 1 to 3 breast cancer diagnosed in 2010 and 2011. Chemotherapy use and rate of pathologic complete response (pCR) was determined for various racial/ethnic groups.


Of 278,815 patients with known race and ethnicity, 127,417 (46%) received chemotherapy, and of 121,446 where the timing of chemotherapy was known, 27,300 (23%) received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Chemotherapy, and neoadjuvant chemotherapy in particular, was given more frequently to black, Hispanic, and Asian women than to white women (P , 0.001). This difference was largely explained by more advanced stage, higher grade tumors, and a greater proportion of triple negative and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)–positive tumors in these women. Of 17,970 patients with known outcome, 5,944 (33%) had a pCR. No differences in response rate for estrogen receptor (ER)/progesterone receptor (PR)–positive tumors were found, but compared with white women, black but not Hispanic or Asian women had a lower rate of pCR for ER/PR-negative, HER2-positive (43% v 54%, P = 0.001) and triple-negative tumors (37% v 43%, P , 0.001). This difference persisted when adjusted for age, clinical T stage, clinicalNstage, histology, grade, comorbidity index, facility type, geographic region, insurance status, and census-derived median income and education for the patient’s zip code (odds ratio, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.77 to 0.93).


Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is given more frequently to black, Hispanic, and Asian women than to white women. Black women have a lower likelihood of pCR for triple-negative and HER2-positive breast cancer. Whether this is due to biologic differences in chemosensitivity or to treatment or socioeconomic differences that could not be adjusted for is unknown.

J Clin Oncol 33. © 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology