Research Projects

Biologically relevant genetic markers of prostate cancer risk and aggressive disease within SA men -Prof Riana Bornman

Biologically relevant genetic markers of prostate cancer risk and aggressive disease within SA men -Prof Riana Bornman

Prof Riana Bornman

Prof Riana Bornman

Prof Riana Bornman

Title of the project

Biologically relevant genetic markers of prostate cancer risk and aggressive disease within South African men.

Project Description

Background: Prostate cancer (PCa) the most common male cancer worldwide and affects one in every six men; it is possibly the most heritable of the common cancers (~42-57%). Although a positive family history is a known risk factor, the genetic basis of PCa is still poorly understood. Clinical management is often delayed by the lack of reliable biomarkers and the diverse nature of disease course (from asymptomatic to rapid spread and mortality). The other significant lifetime risk factors for PCa are increased age and an African ancestry. African American men have a significant higher incidence and mortality of PCa compared with age-matched Europeans and Asians residing in the United States. However, we do not know what the situation in among indigenous African or South African men.

Rationale: Studies focused on defining genetic markers of increased susceptibility and outcomes have been biased as these predominantly included non-African populations. As at 2012, after six years of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify susceptibility markers of PCa risk, only a single study has focused on African Americans, while none have been performed on a population within Africa or South Africa. Published patient cohorts involved both indolent and aggressive PCa patients with a lack of biologically significant associations specifically applicable to Africans.

Goals and Objectives: The overall objective is firstly to establish a South African prostate cancer cohort and secondly to use this resource to identify biologically relevant markers of PCa that may explain increased risk and aggressive disease associated with an African ancestry, while addressing current limitations in published PCa GWAS association studies

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