Umbilical Cord Blood From Minorities Sought; Minority Women Urged To Participate in Federal Cancer Study
Newspapers recently published articles related to racial minorities' participation in umbilical cord blood donation and in a breast cancer study. Summaries appear below.
- Umbilical cord blood: The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging black and other minority women across the nation to donate umbilical cord blood after their infants are born, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Blood from umbilical cords has helped 5,500 people with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia and immune system disorders. Most procedures involving umbilical cord blood are preformed on children because there usually are not enough cells to treat an adult. However, some doctors have begun treating adults with cord blood from two infants. The national goal is to collect a total of 150,000 units of blood, according to the Sun-Times (Ritter, Chicago Sun-Times, 1/8).
- Cancer: The Sister Study -- which examines the causes of breast cancer and is conducted by NIH's Environmental Health Sciences -- is seeking to recruit 50,000 U.S. women ages 35 and 74, particularly minorities, those who work in nontraditional and industrial occupations and those who are older than 55, the Knoxville News-Sentinel reports (Nelson, Knoxville News-Sentinel, 1/8). Previous breast cancer studies have focused on primarily white, middle-class women, but researchers are uncertain if the risk factors are the same for women of other ethnicities, Lisa Deroo, an NIH researcher, said (Llanos, Los Angeles Daily News, 1/6). Researchers from the Sister Study are seeking black, Hispanic, Asian and American Indian women who have never been diagnosed with cancer but have a blood-related sister who has. Participants must commit to diagnostic tests, questionnaires and annual follow-up interviews over 10 years (Knoxville News-Sentinel, 1/8). The study has recruited 31,034 participants since 2004 (Los Angeles Daily News, 1/6).