Target Health Blog

NIH Launches Large Study on Aggressive Prostate Cancer in African-American Men

July 23, 2018

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Urology
Source:

African-American men have about a 15% chance of developing prostate cancer in their lifetimes, compared to about a 10% chance for white men. African-American men are also more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive disease. In addition, the risk of dying from prostate cancer for African-American men is about 4% compared to about 2% for white men. 

The largest coordinated research effort to study biological and non-biological factors associated with aggressive prostate cancer in African-American men has begun. The study is called RESPOND, or Research on Prostate Cancer in Men of African Ancestry: Defining the Roles of Genetics, Tumor Markers, and Social Stress. It will investigate environmental and genetic factors related to aggressiveness of prostate cancer in African-American men to better understand why they disproportionally experience aggressive disease -- that is, disease that grows and spreads quickly -- compared with men of other racial and ethnic groups. RESPOND is supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), both parts of the National Institutes of Health, as well as by the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF). The NCI funding will be provided from the 21st Century Cures Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

For the study, the investigators aim to enroll 10,000 African-American men with prostate cancer into the RESPOND study. The participants will be identified primarily via NCI's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Program of Cancer Registries. In addition, this study builds on years of research collaboration involving investigators who are part of the African Ancestry Prostate Cancer (AAPC) consortium. Investigators in the study will examine possible associations between aggressive disease and exposures to neighborhood/environmental stressors such as discrimination, early-life adversity, and segregation. They will also study DNA and tumor samples to identify gene variants associated with aggressive prostate cancer. Once genetic changes associated with aggressive prostate cancer are identified, the investigators will investigate how the social environment interacts with those genetic changes. The investigators will also contribute additional information and samples from 10,000 African-American men with prostate cancer. In accordance with NIH data sharing policies, and with appropriate informed consent, the de-identified data and samples collected as part of this research will be made available as a resource to the scientific community, aiding future research.

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