Comments about the article in Nature: How researchers are addressing the racial imbalance in multiple myeloma

Following is a discussion about this article in Nature Vol 587 25 November 2020, by Matthew M. Hedman
To study the full text select this link: In the last paragraph I explain my own opinion.




1. Demystifying the disparity

A raft of studies have tried, with mixed success, to work out why myeloma is more common among Black people.
Epidemiologist Wendy Cozen at the University of California, Irvine, has been searching for genetic risk factors for myeloma in African Americans for more than a decade.
Still, she and her colleagues have so far failed to find any variants that could account for the increased incidence.
Interesting fact.
But there’s another potential explanation. Alan Goodman, an anthropologist at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, questions the usefulness of searching for genetic explanations for racial disparities. He points out that race is primarily a social construct, and has little to do with genetics. People who share a common ancestry also share some genetic features, but self-reported race doesn’t necessarily correlate with ancestry. The assumption that people of the same race share similar genetic features is an “unconscionable leap”, Goodman says.
Important information.
Cozen acknowledges that race is an imperfect construct, but defends the research. Researchers have found genetic variants linked to higher risk in both Black and white people. “But so far, we haven’t found the explanation for the disparity in risk between the two groups,” she says.

2. Better survival

3. Improving outcomes

Reflection 1

Reflection 2

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Created: 20 December 2023

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