Grants - Virginia - Designated Grants - 2019

Riccardo Autorino, M.D., Ph.D.

Funded by the V Foundation’s Virginia Vine event

Prostate cancer represents the second most common cancer in men and the fifth leading cause of death worldwide. African American men in the US are more likely to develop prostate cancer and more likely to develop aggressive types when compared to other races. Between 2012 and 2016, 179 out of 100,000 African American men compared to 104 out of 100,000 Caucasian men were diagnosed with prostate cancer African American men with prostate cancer have a 2.5-fold greater risk of death from the disease. 

Racial disparities exist in many disease types, including cancer. The development of cancer and survival of the disease are likely to include many components, including later detection and treatment, genetic factors, differences in biology, and social factors. Participation in cancer clinical trials provides access to new therapies, including potentially life-saving experimental therapy in patients for whom options are limited and prognosis is poor. African American patients are underrepresented in clinical trials in general, and more specifically in prostate cancer trials. The aim of this project is to promote, facilitate, and foster participation of minorities (with special emphasis on the African American population) in ongoing and to-be-opened prostate cancer clinical trials at VCU Massey Cancer Center (MCC). This will be accomplished by identifying current barriers, by increasing awareness among patients and physicians about available opportunities offered by MCC, and by organizing a prostate cancer clinical trial team that will guide eligible patients through screening and clinical trial treatment.