The largest coordinated research effort to study biological and non-biological factors associated with aggressive prostate cancer in African-American men has begun.
The $26.5 million study is called RESPOND, or Research on Prostate Cancer in Men of African Ancestry: Defining the Roles of Genetics, Tumor Markers, and Social Stress. It will investigate environmental and genetic factors related to aggressiveness of prostate cancer in African-American men to better understand why they disproportionally experience aggressive disease—that is, disease that grows and spreads quickly—compared with men of other racial and ethnic groups.
RESPOND is supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), both parts of the National Institutes of Health, as well as by the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF). The NCI funding will be provided from the 21st Century Cures Cancer Moonshot Initiative.
African-American men have about a 15 percent chance of developing prostate cancer in their lifetimes, compared to about a 10 percent chance for White men, and African-American men are more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive disease. In addition, the risk of dying from prostate cancer for African-American men is about 4 percent compared to about 2 percent for White men. With the RESPOND study, researchers aim to learn more about why these disparities exist.
The investigators aim to enroll 10,000 African-American men with prostate cancer into the RESPOND study.