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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  November 12, 2003
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Race Differences in Prostate Cancer
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By Julie Monheim, Ivanhoe Health Correspondent

Orlando, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- When it comes to prostate cancer, researchers say race does matter. A new study shows a specific protein may explain why blacks have a higher risk of developing and dying from the disease.

Researchers from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute studied 25 black men and 25 white men who had been tested for prostate cancer. They found the androgen receptor protein expression was 22-percent higher in the benign prostate tissue and 81-percent higher in the cancerous prostate tissue of black patients. Androgens are the hormones responsible for the development of male characteristics such as facial and body hair, baldness, and muscle development. They are also responsible for the development of the male prostate.

James Mohler, M.D., from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, told Ivanhoe this is the first study that could explain why blacks have a higher risk of developing the disease. He says, "The study demonstrates that underlying tumor biology may account for the disparity in prostate cancer outcome by race."

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and is the second leading cause of cancer death. This year, more than 28,000 men will die from the disease. Researchers say more studies are needed to confirm androgen receptor protein expression plays a role in prostate cancer risk. Dr. Mohler says, "If these findings are confirmed, we will have uncovered the first significant biologic difference between races that may allow us to understand better why prostate cancer is more aggressive in African Americans."

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

SOURCE: Journal of Urology, 2003;170:990-993

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