? Project 1 African-American (AA) men experience the highest prostate cancer (PCa) incidence and mortality rates of all U.S. racial/ethnic groups. They are also known to present with more aggressive high-risk disease, especially of higher Gleason score and PSA levels. Factors contributing to the high burden of PCa among AA men are not known. AAs are exposed to considerably higher levels of social stressors such as institutional and interpersonal discrimination, crime, low socioeconomic status, social isolation, and resource-poor environments. These social stressors exist at multiple levels, from individual to neighborhood to institutional, and across the lifecourse, leading to chronic stress. Social stressors experienced among AA men may thus be a contributor to the development of aggressive PCa and high mortality. We will apply recently developed multilevel frameworks that emphasize the consideration and evaluation of exposures from ?cells to society? to understand how ?stress gets under the skin? to cause biological vulnerability, specifically the high burden of PCa among AA men.
Our specific aims are: 1) Examine the associations between exposures to neighborhood social stressors and risk of aggressive PCa and mortality among AA and non-Hispanic White (WH) men. Among population-based samples of all AA (N=149,000) and WH (N=668,000) men diagnosed with PCa in the RESPOND catchment areas, we will link geospatial neighborhood data on segregation, racial composition, socioeconomic deprivation, and other social and built environment attributes to cancer registry data and examine the associations between these neighborhood factors and aggressive PCa and risk of mortality; 2) Examine the associations between exposures to multilevel social stressors across the lifecourse and risk of aggressive PCa among 10,000 AA men in RESPOND. Each stressor will be examined individually and combined, and for selected time points (early, mid, adult life) and cumulatively over time; 3) Examine the associations between exposures to multilevel social stressors across the lifecourse and genetic factors, as well as their combined effects in association with aggressive PCa. More specifically, we will assess the association between the multilevel social stressors and: a) proportion of African genetic ancestry, b) frequency and type of somatic profiles, and c) whether social stressors, germline genetics (including PCa aggressive loci), and somatic profiles are jointly associated with risk of aggressive disease. To address these aims, we have designed a multilevel study involving cross-sectional, prospective, and retrospective designs that integrates multilevel data from multiple sources including cancer registry, patient survey, geospatial (to characterize neighborhood-level stressors) and public record data (to construct adult residential history), germline genetics from Project 2 and somatic tumor profile data from Project 3. Covering 6 states and 1 metropolitan region, and representing 38% of all AA men with PCa in the U.S., RESPOND will represent the single largest coordinated research effort to study aggressive PCa in AA men, with an innovative focus in Project 1 on social stressor exposures that are most relevant to this population.

Public Health Relevance

? Project 1 Project 1 has the potential of identifying modifiable risk factors for aggressive prostate cancer to inform targeted prevention on a broad public health scale, such as targeting community support resources to neighborhoods with high stressors; the lifecourse approach will also provide the opportunity to identify critical time windows of disease susceptibility. The short term impact of this research will be our expanded understanding of contextual- and individual-level stressors that are associated with aggressive disease among African American men, and the long term impact, with future follow-up, is the determination of the effect of these social factors on disease progression and mortality.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1)
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University of Southern California
Los Angeles
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