Prostate Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Molecular and Genomic Differences in Prostate Cancer: Impact on Racial Disparities in Treatment

By: Jenna Carter, PhD
Posted: Monday, May 10, 2021

A recent article published in Cancer Reports highlighted the racial disparities in prostate cancer treatment within the Black population. Ashutosh K. Tewari, MD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, and colleagues performed a comprehensive literature review and found that integrating clinical and genomic data through genomic profiling may enable a targeted approach to treating this patient population.

“This article provides specific guidelines for managing prostate cancer in African American men based on their disease’s biology and makes a significant contribution to the ongoing national effort to improve African American men’s outcomes from prostate cancer,” said Dr. Tewari in a Mount Sinai Health System press release.

Hanahan and Weinberg’s updated “Hallmarks of Cancer” were used as a benchmark for this review. These hallmarks include constitutive proliferation, uncontrolled growth, genetic instability, inflammation, metabolic reprogramming, and many other mechanisms. The genomic and molecular pathways of prostate cancer were also reviewed in other articles and reframed under these review hallmarks. Each genetic or pathway abnormalities were also outlined concisely, with specific reference to prostate cancer in Black men.

Findings revealed key molecular characteristics of tumors in Black men compared with White men. They included defective androgen receptor signaling, altered apoptotic pathways, increased telomerase activity, and many other characteristics unique to Black men. These findings suggest that understanding the molecular and genomic differences with specific emphasis on genetic abnormalities in Black men can be helpful for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment planning.

Disclosure: For full disclosure of the study authors, visit

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