Keck School to lead first large-scale study on African-American men with prostate cancer

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The Keck School of Medicine of USC is leading a $26.5 million effort to conduct the first large-scale, multi-institutional study on African-American men with prostate cancer to better understand why they are at higher risk for developing more aggressive forms of the disease and why they are more likely to die from it. The RESPOND study, funded by grants from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and the Prostate Cancer Foundation, will look at the role of social stressors and genetics in the development of prostate cancer in African-American men. Researchers hope to recruit 10,000 African-American men nationwide to participate in the study.

“Not only are African-American men more likely to develop prostate cancer, but they are twice as likely to have an aggressive, more lethal form of the disease, and we don’t know why,” said the project’s principal investigator Christopher Haiman, ScD, professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School. “It’s a health disparity that needs to be addressed. Considerable money, time and effort has gone into studies in men of European ancestry; it is time for a large-scale effort devoted to men of African ancestry.”

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— Erica Rheinschild

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