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New Study May Help Reduce the Vast Racial Disparity in Prostate Cancer


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Prostate cancer takes a greater toll on Black men than on men of other races. In the United States, one in six Black men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime, compared to one in eight men overall. Black men are also more than twice as likely to die from the disease. While past studies have identified nearly 270 genetic variants linked to prostate cancer risk, researchers have yet to find a clear explanation for the disproportionate risk among men of African ancestry. Genetic research thus far has also failed to predict which men face a high risk for aggressive prostate cancer, versus those who may get less deadly forms of the disease. A new study led by researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California examined genome-wide association study data from more than 80,000 men. The study identified nine new genetic risk factors for prostate cancer, seven of which are found either largely or exclusively in men of African ancestry. “The ability to differentiate between the risk for aggressive and non-aggressive forms of the disease is of critical importance,” said Christopher Haiman, who holds AFLAC Chair in Cancer Research at the university’s Norris Comprehensive...