Prostate Cancer Disparity Project

Prostate cancer disparity in Chicago-area African American men: patient-derived models and biomarkers of cancer risk

The Story

African American men not only have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer, but also have more aggressive disease at a younger age, compared to men of European descent. Socioeconomic and biological differences may contribute to this disparity. One of the main obstacles to understanding biological differences in African American prostate cancer is the lack of model systems to study the disease.

What We’re Doing

The ultimate goal is to address prostate cancer disparities in Chicago-area African American men. To contribute to this goal, our protocol has two sub-projects. The objective of the first sub-project is to develop a preclinical model system to study prostate cancer in Chicago area patient samples. This model system involves analysis of prostate cells collected from Chicago area patients having their prostate removed as a treatment for prostate cancer. The second sub-project examines differences in the amount of sugar molecules bound to proteins and DNA in prostate cancers from African American and Caucasian patients and whether the amount of sugar may be a marker of prostate cancer risk.

We have assembled a team of researchers who are uniquely suited to complete the project with complementary individual expertise areas. Together we will accomplish more than we would by working independently. This collaborative project also provides career development opportunities for two junior faculty and research intensive experiences for undergraduate students.

Study Results

Our results will be shared with African American men across Chicago. This will provide the men with cutting edge research findings and potential ways this information can help them prevent prostate cancer or prevent the worsening of prostate cancer. Our findings may be especially relevant to diabetic and pre-diabetic patients, and will increase awareness of prostate cancer disparities facing the African American community.

Prostate Cancer Disparity – Research Team & Partners

  • Sarki Abdulkadir, MD, PhD (Northwestern University)
  • Cindy Voisine, PhD (Northeastern Illinois University)
  • Adam Murphy, MD (Northwestern University and Jesse Brown VA)
  • Larisa Nonn, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago)
  • Marcus Murray, BS (Project Brotherhood, Chicago)

Contact us to learn more or get involved.