Voorhees student conducts research in Breast Cancer Clinical Trials

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Voorhees student conducts research in Breast Cancer Clinical Trials

March 13, 2019

Dawn Freeman, a junior biology major at Voorhees College recently presented research on “Assessing the Trends of Minority Participation in Breast Cancer Clinical Trials,” at the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) Student/Faculty Research Symposium held in Spartanburg, S.C.

In this study, Freeman screened more than 150 clinical trials on Breast Cancer phase I, II, and III.  She said the project enhanced her knowledge on breast cancer. “I am able to be more involved in lab research, network, and give scientific presentations. It is unquestionably setting the establishment for my future profession,” Freeman said.

According to the research conducted by Freeman, African American females are 26% less likely to get breast cancer but 35% more likely to die from breast cancer. Poorer access to healthcare accounts for only a modest part of this disparity. Some evidence suggests that African American females are less likely to be represented in clinical trials.

According to American Cancer Society, due to differences in the molecular genetics of breast cancer for African American females, it may be that the drugs/treatments developed in mainly clinical trials are not as effective in African Americans.

Though African American women are much less likely than Caucasian women to get breast cancer, they are far more likely to die from breast cancer. This may be in part due to the historical under representation of racial minorities in breast cancer clinical trials. Breast cancer today is generally treated by surgery followed by adjudicative chemotherapy and/or targeted therapy.

Dr. Zhabiz Golkar, associate professor of biology, said she was thankful to SCICU for funding the project. “This program and similar ones create scholarship activities to provide additional outlets for me to serve and foster the creation of a community of scholars. These are strong examples of high-impact learning practices that we value as part of the Voorhees mission,” Golkar Said.

Freeman will continue working on “Comparative Genomics & Evaluating Analysis of CRISPR Loci in E. coli,” as Golkar’s Summer research intern. This study is funded by the Carolina Cluster Career Pathways Research and Innovation Program.

For more information, contact the Office of Communications, at 803-780-1191 or at communications@voorhees.edu.

l-r., Dawn Freeman and Dr. Zhabiz Golkar