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UH Cancer Center Leads $3.5M Study to Improve Prostate Cancer Risk Prediction

June 26, 2022, 12:43 PM HST
* Updated June 26, 12:44 PM
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The University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center is leading a $3.5 million research study of prostate cancer.

Lang Wu, an assistant professor at the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center and leader of the study’s research team. (Photo courtesy of University of Hawaiʻi)

Prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed, deadliest cancers for men in Hawaiʻi. The study, funded by the National Cancer Institute, aims to increase public understanding of the causes of prostate cancer and improve prediction of future disease.

An average of 855 men are diagnosed each year in the state with invasive prostate cancer, with 95% of prostate cancers being diagnosed at age 55 and older. Filipinos had the highest proportions of advanced stage prostate cancers at 35%. An average of 125 men die each year of prostate cancer in Hawai‘i.

“For prostate cancer, substantial efforts have been made to identify high-risk populations to improve prostate cancer screening,” Lang Wu, an assistant professor at the UH Cancer Center and leader of the study’s research team, said in a press release. “However, the performance of available prostate cancer risk predictive models remains unsatisfactory. Through this study, we hope to generate new knowledge to improve the understanding of prostate cancer etiology (causes) and risk assessment.”

Wu’s aim is to apply his findings across a variety of populations, including at-risk ethnic groups in Hawaiʻi and around the Pacific.

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Wu and his research team will investigate the causes of overall and aggressive prostate cancers through novel methods throughout African and European populations in the United States and other countries. They will identify proteins that play a role in the development and progression of prostate cancer.

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Wu also aims to develop and validate useful predictive models for prostate cancer risk and aggressiveness, helping identify people at a high risk of developing prostate cancer.

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