Saturday, July 1, 2017
Experts have long known that African American men are more likely to die from prostate cancer, but a new study may have found the reason why
Previous research has shown that black men are 74% more likely to get the disease than white men and are twice as likely to die from it. Now a new study suggests African-American males have a certain genetic makeup that makes prostate tumors more aggressive and resistant to drug treatments. Researchers believe this difference may contribute to the large mortality disparity between black and white men when it comes to the cancer. The study was done by researchers at the George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center in Washington DC. Experts found that genetic variation, called differential RNA splicing, could play a role in tumor aggressiveness and treatability of African-American men. The study reported that the splicing led molecules to contain different combinations of cell proteins, which eventually made tumors more aggressive. When exposed to prostate cancer treatments, due to the genetic variation of these proteins, the drug was ineffective and was also resisted by the body. Principal researcher Dr Norman Lee said: "We found that the protein isoforms expressed in African Americans with prostate cancer do not always respond to targeted therapies. Whereas these drugs were found to be effective in European Americans with prostate cancer and do end up killing off the cancer. This is a mechanism for drug resistance."