Purpose: Cancer of the prostate (CaP) is the leading cancer among men in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). A substantial proportion of these men with CaP are diagnosed at late (usually incurable) stages, yet little is known about the etiology of CaP in SSA.
Methods: We established the Men of African Descent and Carcinoma of the Prostate Network, which includes seven SSA centers partnering with five US centers to study the genetics and epidemiology of CaP in SSA. We developed common data elements and instruments, regulatory infrastructure, and biosample collection, processing, and shipping protocols. We tested this infrastructure by collecting epidemiologic, medical record, and genomic data from a total of 311 patients with CaP and 218 matched controls recruited at the seven SSA centers. We extracted genomic DNA from whole blood, buffy coat, or buccal swabs from 265 participants and shipped it to the Center for Inherited Disease Research (Baltimore, MD) and the Centre for Proteomics and Genomics Research (Cape Town, South Africa), where genotypes were generated using the UK Biobank Axiom Array.
Results: We used common instruments for data collection and entered data into the shared database. Double-entered data from pilot participants showed a 95% to 98% concordance rate, suggesting that data can be collected, entered, and stored with a high degree of accuracy. Genotypes were obtained from 95% of tested DNA samples (100% from blood-derived DNA samples) with high concordance across laboratories.
Conclusion: We provide approaches that can produce high-quality epidemiologic and genomic data in multicenter studies of cancer in SSA.