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Prostate cancer more likely to return in blacks than whites, but the disease is not more aggressive
Date:10/9/2007

DURHAM, N.C. -- African-American men are more likely to have their prostate cancer return after treatment, but their disease is no more aggressive when it does recur than that of their white counterparts, according to a study led by Duke Prostate Center researchers.

Our study found that African-American men have a slightly higher risk of what is known as PSA recurrence, which is a blood test that indicates the presence of cancer based on the levels of a certain biomarker known as prostate-specific antigen, said Stephen Freedland, M.D., a urologist at Duke and senior researcher on the study. We were encouraged, however, to see that their disease is not necessarily more aggressive than that of white men, once it has recurred.

African-American men tend to have higher PSA levels at initial diagnosis of prostate cancer, as well, despite being diagnosed at younger ages. This suggests that there may be an underlying genetic and biologic component that predisposes African-American men to prostate disease, Freedland said, highlighting the need for black men to have prostate screening early and often.

The team's findings will be published in the November 15, 2007 print edition of the journal Cancer, but also appeared early in the journals September 17, 2007 online edition. The study was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, the Prostate Cancer Research Program, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, the Georgia Cancer Coalition and the American Urological Association Foundation.

The researchers studied the medical records of 953 white and 659 black men who were treated for prostate cancer between 1988 and 2006 at five medical centers that make up the Shared Equal Access Regional Cancer Hospital (SEARCH) database. All received surgery, called radical prostatectomy, to treat their cancer.

The team examined the relationship between race and the amount of time that lapsed between surgery and re
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Contact: Lauren Shaftel Williams
lauren.shaftel@duke.edu
919-684-4966
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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