A large-scale study of African-American men diagnosed with prostate cancer, the first of its kind, recently made waves thanks to a massive $26.5 million funding grant made to the project by Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.
Coming Together for Important Prostate Health Research
It’s not yet understood why African-American men seem to be diagnosed with prostate cancer at a higher incidence rate than other American ethnicities. This new research study, however, is being launched to determine just that in order to better support men’s health; Dr. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Center, remarked in a press release that investigating the issue will ultimately help reduce the threat of prostate cancer for men of all ethnicities.
The so-called RESPOND survey, which hopes to recruit as large a sample size as possible, has aimed to include as many as 10,000 African-American men across the United States in their research. A number of institutions have provided financial support, including the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and the National Cancer Institute.
RESPOND’s Methodology and Goals
RESPOND is being spearheaded by the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. Plans are in place to cross-reference prostate biopsy tissue results with DNA analysis from saliva collection in the hopes that genetic markers can be identified and categorized in regards to prostate issues. Finding genetic links to highly aggressive types of prostate cancer is one of the primary goals of the study.
In addition to the goal of comparing biopsy results against DNA markers, there are already 3,000 prostate tumor samples that have been collected from African-American men in the past. These samples are slated to undergo centralized review at Johns Hopkins, with pathologists planning to stage and grade these tumors to further support the RESPOND study’s goals.