African American men get more prostate cancer and more lethal forms of prostate cancer than men of other ethnicities. We assume that a combination of genetic differences, lifestyle, nutritional and medical access were the reasons for this disparity. Understanding the role of these different possible contributors is important if we are to be able to better understand this disparity. Understanding this disparity s important to being able to deliver effective interventions.
In a study, “A Novel Genomic Alteration of LSAMP Associates with Aggressive Prostate Cancer in African American Men,” published in EBioMedicine, researchers identified some distinct genomic variations that might be important to better understanding the genomic component of the problem.
The researchers have found that some genes that are associated with early stages of prostate cancer development and progression might also be culpable for the increased risks that men of African American face. They fond that the tumor suppressor gene, LSAMP, was missing from a key chromosome in African American men who had a rapid progression of their cancer. The have hypothesized that this might, in part, explain why African American men have higher risks for developing prostate cancer and more aggressive prostate cancers. In contrast, Caucasian men with similar types of prostate cancers showed much lower frequency of LSAMP alterations but higher frequency of two widely studied prostate cancer driver genes, ERG and PTEN.
These findings confirm that there are deferentially distributed somatic mutations in prostate cancer across ancestral groups. To better understand these differences we need to expand our genetic research so that it becomes global in scope.