Addressing the biological causes of racial disparities in prostate cancer

African Americans have higher rates of prostate cancer and are more likely to die from the disease than other groups in the United States, likely due to socioeconomic factors, healthcare access problems, and tumor biology. A new review published in Cancer Reports focuses on the biological differences in the development of prostate cancer across ethnicities.

The authors note that these differences could be leveraged to improve the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer in African American men, ultimately reducing incidence and mortality rates associated with the disease.

“We provide a comprehensive review of the significant research in recent years that has examined the molecular and genomic reasons for unequal cancer burden in African American and Caucasian American populations and acknowledge the challenges that lie ahead,” said senior author Ashutosh K. Tewari, MD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “This article provides specific guidelines for managing prostate cancer in African American men based on their disease’s biology and makes a significant contribution to the ongoing national effort to improve African American men’s outcomes from prostate cancer.”

“Understanding the specific biology of prostate cancer in African American men and integrating clinical and genomic data will enable a ‘precision medicine’ approach to treating African American men and contribute to the ongoing efforts to improve outcomes in this population,” added co-author Sujit S. Nair, Ph.D.