Prostate Cancer Study Peers into Genetic Basis for Disease Prevalence, Severity in Blacks

Prostate Cancer Study Peers into Genetic Basis for Disease Prevalence, Severity in Blacks

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists are leading a multicenter genetic study of prostate cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa. The five-year study into the genetic origins of the cancer will also to assess genetic predisposition and population genomics, and how differences found might impact the high rates of prostate cancer seen in African-Americans.

“Men of African descent suffer disproportionately from prostate cancer compared to men of other races and ethnicities. Our understanding of this disparity is incomplete and we hope to find some of the answers in this study,” Dr. Timothy Rebbeck, the study’s prinicipal investigator and a professor of Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber, said in a recent news release.

“Aggressive prostate cancer is the form of the disease that is the most important to control. African descent men, including African Americans, seem to have biologically more aggressive forms of prostate cancer than other groups,” he said. “By studying African descent men, we may also learn about aggressive prostate cancer so that we can better prevent and treat the disease.”

The research team includes scientists from 11 institutions in the U.S. and Africa, and the research is supported by the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Rebbeck, PhD, is also a professor of Cancer Epidemiology at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

The Data Coordinating Center at Dana-Farber will assist in the work all of the institutions in the study. The participating centers are part of the Men of African Descent and Carcinoma consortium, and include: Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia; the Center for Proteomic & Genomic Research (CPGR), Cape Town, South Africa; 37 Military Hospital, Accra, Ghana; University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria; Hȏpital Général de Grand Yoff, Dakar, Senegal; Korle-Bu Hospital, Accra Ghana; Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa; the National Health Laboratory Services, Johannesburg, South Africa; the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland; the Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, California; and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York.