Race and Cancer Genetics: Lessons From BRCA1January 1st 2002
Health disparities among populations within the United States are well documented. In order to eliminate these disparities, we must further understand their sources. Are they the result of the unequal distribution of resources, racism, or inherent characteristics of ethnically or "racially" defined groups? How we define and discuss "race" has major scientific and moral consequences. In this issue, Leslie Klein Hoffman asks two major questions as they pertain to research on ethnic or "racially" defined groups. When is genetic research on a population appropriate? How should researchers define a given population? These questions are timely, and it is both humbling and instructive that the answers to these questions remain unclear.