Prostate biopsies from black men express higher levels of aggressive disease biomarkers than prostate biopsies from white men

Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2011 Sep;14(3):262-5. doi: 10.1038/pcan.2011.18. Epub 2011 Apr 26.


A wide array of biomarkers is being investigated as predictors of prostate cancer (PCa) diagnosis and recurrence. We compared the expression of a small panel of these biomarkers as a function of race among men undergoing radical prostatectomy (RP). Prostate needle biopsy specimens from 131 patients treated with RP at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center were hematoxylin and eosin stained and immunofluorescent assayed for α-methylacyl CoA racemase (AMACR), androgen receptor (AR) and Ki67. Proprietary image analysis was used to identify six biometric feature combinations that were significantly associated with progression in a previous study. Analysis of population characteristics, stratified by race, was performed using rank-sum and χ(2)-test. The effect of race on expression of these biomarker profiles was analyzed using multivariate linear regression. All six biomarker features were expressed at higher levels in black men than white men, with Norm AR (P=0.006) and Ki67 (P=0.02) attaining statistical significance. On multivariate analysis, all markers were expressed at higher levels in black men, with Norm AR (P=0.001), Ki67 (P=0.007) and Ki67/lum (P=0.022) reaching significance. These data support the hypothesis that PCa may be biologically more aggressive among black men.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Biopsy
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Humans
  • Ki-67 Antigen / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prostate / metabolism*
  • Prostate / pathology
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Racemases and Epimerases / metabolism
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Racemases and Epimerases
  • alpha-methylacyl-CoA racemase