Racial Disparity in Response to Prostate Cancer Systemic Therapies - Beyond the Abstract

Our goal in writing this review was to describe the existing evidence that there is a racial difference in response to therapies for advanced prostate cancer. The data suggests that African Americans may respond better than Caucasians to a variety of medications with diverse mechanisms used to treat prostate cancer.  However, it is clear that African Americans are under-represented in our prostate cancer clinical trials.

Without a focused effort on including African American men in prostate cancer studies moving forward, we will not be able to validate these findings or understand the mechanisms by which this improved response may be occurring.  We need to right the past wrongs and establish trust in our system so that African Americans want to participate in cancer research.  Further, if there truly is a gradient of response based on race, we need to get the message out, so that our African American patients know that there may be treatments that work better for them.

Written by: Rhonda Bitting, MD, GU Medical Oncology, Durham VA Health Care System, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 

Read the Abstract