FEB 10, 2021 3:45 PM PST

Black Men Respond Best to Immunotherapy for Prostate Cancer

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Researchers from Northwestern University have found that Black men and men of African ancestry respond better than men from other backgrounds to immunotherapy when being treated for prostate cancer. This comes even though they are also more likely to die of the condition.

Each year in the US, there are around 175,000 new cases of prostate cancer and around 32,000 deaths. While the severity and resulting mortality rate of the cancer are two times higher among patients of African American descent, African American men with advanced prostate cancer have improved survival outcomes after a course of immunotherapy. 

For the study, the researchers analyzed the genomics of 1,300 tumor samples, each labeled with self-identified race or genetic ancestry. In doing so, they found that men who had tumors with more immune cells known as plasma cells had an improved chance of becoming cancer-free post-surgery. While this was true regardless of men's race, they found that Black men's tumors tended to contain more of these cells than those of their white counterparts. 

"If a man's prostate cancer has numerous plasma cells, we found he had improved cancer survival," says Dr. Edward Schaeffer, lead author of the study. "Our study suggests plasma cells are important in the body's response to cancer."

"The finding comes at a time as researchers are discovering plasma cells may play a greater role in cancer immunotherapy than previously thought," says Dr. Adam Weiner, a first author of the study. "Testing for plasma cells in prostate cancer may help identify men who will benefit from immune-based treatments."

The researchers are now developing clinical trials to see whether increasing plasma cells in prostate cancers for men of all races and ancestry can both make immunotherapy more effective and improve survival outcomes.

 

Sources: News MedicalNature

 

About the Author
University College London
Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
You May Also Like
APR 20, 2022
Immunology
Rare Soil Microbe Shows Promise as New Antibiotic
APR 20, 2022
Rare Soil Microbe Shows Promise as New Antibiotic
  Antibiotic resistance has increased the demand for new antibiotic treatments. Now, researchers have found that a ...
MAY 19, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Repurposed Antibiotic Shows Promise Against COVID-19 in Mice
MAY 19, 2022
Repurposed Antibiotic Shows Promise Against COVID-19 in Mice
An antibiotic known as clofoctol has shown promise in treating SARS-CoV-2 in mice. The corresponding study was published ...
MAY 20, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Drug Shows Promise in treating Spinal Cord Injury
MAY 20, 2022
Drug Shows Promise in treating Spinal Cord Injury
A drug developed by AstraZeneca preserves 80% of nerve function following spinal cord compression injury. The correspond ...
MAY 25, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
NYU Researchers Find CBD effectively Reduces Post Operative Pain
MAY 25, 2022
NYU Researchers Find CBD effectively Reduces Post Operative Pain
  An NYU research study found that a cannabidiol (CBD) tablet safely and effectively reduced post-operative pain. T ...
JUN 07, 2022
Health & Medicine
Drug that lowers blood sugar also reduces blood vessel dysfunction caused by aging
JUN 07, 2022
Drug that lowers blood sugar also reduces blood vessel dysfunction caused by aging
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives ...
JUN 06, 2022
Microbiology
Light-Activated Nanoscale Drills Can Penetrate Bacteria
JUN 06, 2022
Light-Activated Nanoscale Drills Can Penetrate Bacteria
In 1999, a miniature rotor that could be moved reliably was attached to a molecule. Researchers have come a long way sin ...
Loading Comments...