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Biological markers of prostate cancer shed light on cancer burden faced by African-American men
Date:11/29/2007

ATLANTA -- Researchers based at Tulane University report the discovery of biological markers of prostate cancer which are involved in the growth of tumor cells, shedding light on the genetic basis for the prostate cancer burden faced by African-American men. The research is being presented today at the American Association for Cancer Research conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, being held November 27-30.

In prostate tumors samples taken from African-American and Caucasian men, the researchers found that two proteins are overproduced in 90 percent of tumor cells from the African-Americans studied. These structural proteins, called hnRNP-H1 and SAFB-2, in part comprise the nuclear matrix, the mesh of molecules that serves as the supporting skeleton of the cells nucleus.

We have employed a unique functional genomics approach to unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying the disproportionate incidence and mortality among African-American men, said Asim B. Abdel-Mageed, D.V.M, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the Molecular Oncology Research program in the Department of Urology at Tulane University School of Medicine.

Currently, prostate specific antigen (PSA) and digital rectal examinations are the two most common methods of detecting prostate cancer. African Americans are typically diagnosed with prostate cancer more frequently and later when the cancer is at an advanced stage and more aggressive than any other ethnic group in the United States. According to Abdel-Mageed, earlier detection of prostate cancer might decrease this health disparity. The target genes may have potential clinical utility as biomarkers or prognostic indicators of disease progression in African-American men independent of a PSA screen, Abdel-Mageed said.

With funding from the National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society, the researchers compared prosta
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Contact: Greg Lester
greg.lester@aacr.org
267-646-0554
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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