Racial difference in prostate cancer cell telomere lengths in men with higher-grade prostate cancer: A clue to the racial disparity in prostate cancer outcomes

Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention Jan 16, 2020

Heaphy CM, Joshu CE, Barber JR, et al. - Since worse prostate cancer outcomes after treatment have been reported in Black men vs White men even accounting for prognostic factors, this led researchers to find out whether the observed racial disparity in prostate cancer outcomes may be explained by Black-White variations in the telomere biomarker and/or in its components. Experts frequency matched Black (higher-grade [Gleason >/= 4+3] = 34, lower-grade = 93) and White (higher-grade = 34, lower-grade = 89) surgically-treated men, on age, pathologic stage, and grade. They used a robust telomere-specific fluorescence in situ hybridization assay to measure telomere lengths in cancer and cancer-associated stromal cells. Findings revealed the presence of an adverse prostate cancer cell telomere phenotype in a greater proportion of Black men with higher-grade disease vs White men with higher-grade disease.
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