Prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates are twice as high among African American males as Caucasians and other ethnic minority groups. Tulane University urology professor Asim Abdel-Mageed recently was awarded a five-year, $1.8 million National Cancer Institute grant to continue his research into possible causes of these disparities.
Asim Abdel-Mageed has received second grant to study obesity and increased prostate cancer risk in African American men. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
His current project examines whether there is a connection between higher levels of circulating estrogens, higher body mass index, and more aggressive forms of prostate cancer in African American men.
This new grant supplements work that he started in early 2011, when he received a highly competitive Department of Defense Health Disparity Research grant totaling $903,000 over three years. That project examines the ability of stem cells derived from the fat tissue of prostate cancer patients (adipose-derived stem cells, ADSCs) to migrate to and enhance the growth of prostate tumors, exploring a possible link between obesity and prostate cancer development and progression.
“Compared to Caucasians and healthy subjects, we found that adipose stem cells derived from African American men not only have higher propensity to migrate to tumors but also to enhance the growth of prostate cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo,” says Abdel-Mageed.
The results of his research may provide new options for African American prostate cancer patients. Co-investigators on this project include Dr. Raju Thomas, Dr. Krishnarao Moparty, Debasis Mondal and Dr. Krzysztof Moroz.
Abdel-Mageed was named the Zimmerman Professor of Cancer Research in recognition of his research accomplishments and funding success in the area of prostate cancer health disparities.
In support of his research, Abdel-Mageed utilized the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium’s (LCRC) Biospecimen Core facility, which has provided LCRC researchers with high-quality samples of normal and diseased human tissues, along with their associated clinical data, since its opening in 2007.
Melanie Cross is manager of communications at the Tulane Cancer Center.