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LSUHealthNO Part of 1st Large-Scale Study of Aggressive Prostate Cancer in African-American Men

male African-American patient

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Leslie Capo

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LSU Health New Orleans is one of 12 universities and health care entities conducting the first large-scale, multi-institutional study to help determine why African- American men are at higher risk for developing aggressive prostate cancer and dying from it. The $26.5 million RESPOND, or Research on Prostate Cancer in Men of African Ancestry: Defining the Roles of Genetics, Tumor Markers, and Social Stress, study is funded by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

The researchers will investigate the genetic and environmental factors that could contribute to the development and course of prostate cancer in this population, including behaviors, social stressors, socioeconomic status and environment, education and life events such as discrimination.

According to the National Cancer Institute, African-American men have about a 15% chance of developing prostate cancer in their lifetimes, compared to about a 10% chance for white men, and African-American men are more likely to be diagnosed with disease that grows and spreads rapidly. More African-American men also die from it. The prostate cancer death rate of African-American men is more than two times higher than that of white men.
prostate cancer cells
“In a city whose African-American population is nearly 60%, we are acutely aware of the importance of this research."

Xiao-Cheng Wu, MD, LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health

“In a city whose African-American population is nearly 60%, we are acutely aware of the importance of this research,” notes Xiao-Cheng Wu, MD, Professor and Director of the Louisiana Tumor Registry at LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health. “We are highly motivated to work with our colleagues to find solutions to address this disparity.”
LSU Health New Orleans will recruit Louisiana participants diagnosed with prostate cancer, collect biological samples and coordinate linkage with geospatial contextual data to obtain neighborhood characteristics to study social determinants.

Our first step will be to conduct a focus group in August or early September,” says Dr. Wu, principal investigator of the LSU Health New Orleans study site. “Responses from the group will guide the distribution of a comprehensive survey we hope about 1,000 Louisiana participants will complete.”

The Keck School of Medicine of USC will lead the study. Other participating institutions include Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Jersey State Cancer Registry, New Jersey Department of Health, Public Health Institute, Emory University, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Baylor College of Medicine, Moffitt Cancer Center, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute/Wayne State University and University of California, San Francisco.

More information about the study is available here.