Racial Differences

Part of the Molecular Pathology Library book series (MPLB)


In the era of personalized medicine, identifying molecular differences in cancer among different ethnicities is increasingly important. Differences in the incidence and prognosis of prostate cancer have long been observed among different ethnic groups within the United States. Most comparative studies in the current literature involve Caucasians, African Americans, and various Asian populations, and thus this chapter will focus mostly on the molecular characteristics of prostate cancer in these ethnic populations. Both globally and within the United States, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within certain genes have been identified in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) which have been found to be associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer, which also will be highlighted. Although it is well known now that African American men (AAM) experience a higher incidence and worse oncologic outcomes from prostate cancer than do Caucasian American men (CAM), which may be partially attributable to socioeconomic factors, there is now overwhelming evidence that there are certain heritable and acquired molecular alterations as well as differences in protein/serum biomarker expression that may contribute to the disparity observed between these populations. In light of new and evolving molecular diagnostic modalities and targeted treatments for prostate cancer, identification of ethnic differences in the molecular classification of this disease is an essential step in the process, and further research should be pursued in this area.


Prostate cancer Race Ethnicity Molecular differences Caucasian African American Asian 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineWeill Cornell Medical College, New York Presbyterian HospitalNew YorkUSA

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