Public Release: 

LSUHealthNO collaborating on study of aggressive prostate cancer in African-American men

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

New Orleans, LA - LSU Health New Orleans is one of 12 universities and health care entities conducting the first large-scale, multi-institutional study to help determine why African- American men are at higher risk for developing aggressive prostate cancer and dying from it. The $26.5 million RESPOND, or Research on Prostate Cancer in Men of African Ancestry: Defining the Roles of Genetics, Tumor Markers, and Social Stress, study is funded by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

The researchers will investigate the genetic and environmental factors that could contribute to the development and course of prostate cancer in this population, including behaviors, social stressors, socioeconomic status and environment, education and life events such as discrimination.

According to the National Cancer Institute, African-American men have about a 15% chance of developing prostate cancer in their lifetimes, compared to about a 10% chance for white men, and African-American men are more likely to be diagnosed with disease that grows and spreads rapidly. More African-American men also die from it. The prostate cancer death rate of African-American men is more than two times higher than that of white men.

"In a city whose African-American population is nearly 60%, we are acutely aware of the importance of this research," notes Xiao-Cheng Wu, MD, Professor and Director of the Louisiana Tumor Registry at LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health. "We are highly motivated to work with our colleagues to find solutions to address this disparity."

LSU Health New Orleans will recruit Louisiana participants diagnosed with prostate cancer, collect biological samples and coordinate linkage with geospatial contextual data to obtain neighborhood characteristics to study social determinants.

"Our first step will be to conduct a focus group in August or early September," says Dr. Wu, principal investigator of the LSU Health New Orleans study site. "Responses from the group will guide the distribution of a comprehensive survey we hope about 1,000 Louisiana participants will complete."

The Keck School of Medicine of USC will lead the study. Other participating institutions include Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Jersey State Cancer Registry, New Jersey Department of Health, Public Health Institute, Emory University, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Baylor College of Medicine, Moffitt Cancer Center, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute/Wayne State University and University of California, San Francisco.


LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans educates Louisiana's health care professionals. The state's flagship health sciences university, LSU Health New Orleans includes a School of Medicine, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSU Health New Orleans faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research in a number of areas in a worldwide arena, the LSU Health New Orleans research enterprise generates jobs and enormous economic impact. LSU Health New Orleans faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment, or cure disease. To learn more, visit,, or

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.