Global surgical oncology disease burden: addressing disparities via global surgery initiatives: the University of Michigan International Breast Cancer Registry

Ann Surg Oncol. 2015 Mar;22(3):734-40. doi: 10.1245/s10434-014-4345-7. Epub 2015 Jan 13.


Background: Disparities in breast cancer incidence and outcome between African American and white American women are multifactorial in etiology. The increased frequency of triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) in African American patients suggests the possible contribution of hereditary factors related to African ancestry.

Methods: The University of Michigan (UM)-Komfo Anoyke Teaching Hospital (KATH) Breast Cancer Research Collaborative and International Breast Registry was established in 2004. It features epidemiologic information, tumor tissue, and germline DNA specimens from African American, white American, and Ghanaian women.

Results: This research collaborative has generated valuable findings regarding the pathogenesis and patterns of TNBC while concomitantly improving the standard of breast oncology care in Ghana. This partnership has also yielded important opportunities for academic and educational exchange. It has expanded to involve other sites in Africa and Haiti.

Conclusions: The UM-KATH collaborative is a model for demonstrating the research and academic exchange value of international partnerships.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • International Agencies
  • Medical Oncology*
  • Prognosis
  • Registries*
  • Specialties, Surgical*
  • Tumor Burden
  • Universities