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Race-Related Rates of Prostate Cancer Investigated

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Researchers at the University of Texas’s department of urology and cancer biology are investigating why rates of prostate cancer appear to be much higher among African American men in the US that in Caucasians.

Researchers believe that several factors may be involved including differences in the cancer’s behaviour and gene expression and delays in seeking treatment.

The research involved examining the expression of two genes that suggest whether cancer has moved beyond the confines of the prostate organ. The E-cadherin adhesion molecule helps cells to stick together. Low levels of expression of this molecule are associated with cancer metastasis. Expression of two other molecules, MMP 2 and MMP 9, matrix metalloproteinases also correlate strongly with aggressive prostate cancer.

The study involved looking at tissue samples from 21 African American patients who had their cancerous prostates removed. The ratio of MMP to E-Cadherin molecules was found to be able to predict which molecules had spread beyond the organ and which had not. A large MMP to E-cadherin ratio suggested the cancer had become invasive. A low MMP to E-Cadherin ratio predicted the cancer remained confined to the organ.

A larger study comparing the expression of the MMP and E-Cadherin genes among African American and Caucasian men with prostate cancer is now underway.

(Source: American Association of Cancer Research)

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Posted On: 10 April, 2003
Modified On: 3 December, 2013


Created by: myVMC