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Addressing the global burden of prostate cancer among black men

27 Aug 2014
Guest Editor: F Odedina

Folakemi T Odedina

University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA and Florida Prostate Cancer Health Disparity Research Group, Florida, USA

Correspondence to:

Prostate cancer (CaP) is the second most common cancer in men globally and the most common male cancer in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and North America [1]. While all black men are disproportionately affected by CaP, African American and Jamaican men have been noted to have the highest rate of CaP in the world [2]. This special issue presents a cadre of articles addressing the global burden of CaP from multiple perspectives by Prostate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium ( and African-Caribbean Cancer Consortium ( investigators.

Black race/ethnicity is one of the three primary non-modifiable risk factors confirmed for prostate cancer (CaP). While there has been progress made in reducing CaP mortality over the years, especially in the United States (US), there continues to be a disparate burden of CaP in black men globally. Unfortunately, CaP scientists have been limited in their ability to work together to research the bio-behavioral factors linked to CaP etiology among black populations who are genetically linked. Given the ancestral link among black men connected by the transatlantic slave trade [3-5] and the reported burden of CaP in black men globally, global collaborations to address this problem have become important. The importance of global collaborations is underscored by the significant differences among US-born, African-born, and Caribbean-born black men on lifestyle factors, acculturation, and cultural beliefs relative to CaP [6-10] although they share a genetic risk locus that confers an elevated risk of developing CaP.

Investigators from two cancer consortia, the Prostate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium and the African-Caribbean Cancer Consortium, worked collaboratively to publish this special issue on the global burden of CaP among black men. The CaPTC, formed in 2005 to address the global disproportionate burden of CaP among black men, focuses on studying black men who are connected by the Transatlantic Slave Trade. It is an open consortium comprising a team of CaP scientists, clinicians, survivors, and advocates from North America, Europe, the Caribbean Islands, and West Africa, with the specific goals to: (1) explore and quantify the magnitude of prostate cancer morbidity and mortality variance among black men; (2) explore the genetic and environmental etiology of this variance, using valid and reliable instruments and biomarkers; and (3) develop ethnically sensitive, targeted approaches that will eliminate globally the prostate cancer disparities of black men through modifiable risk factors associated with prostate cancer.

The AC3 was formed in May 2006 to further the study of viral, genetic, environmental, and lifestyle risk factors for cancer in populations of African descent. The primary mission of AC3 is to conduct multi-centered research studies within an international research network through collaboration, capacity building, and training. To achieve this mission, AC3 aims to: (1) address a significant need for studies related to cancer for individuals of African descent; (2) advance scientific knowledge of the roles that viral, environmental, and genetic risk factors play in cancer etiology among minority populations; and (3) translate the results to targeted interventions that will reduce the incidence and mortality of cancer in these minority populations.

In this special issue, CaPTC and AC3 investigators co-authored seven articles on the global burden of CaP from multiple perspectives. These papers are written by clinicians and scientists who have dedicated their career to addressing the burden of CaP in black men and who work tirelessly to improve the lives of black men globally. One of the perspectives addressed in this special issue is the global impact of CaP, with papers on: Update on prostate cancer in black men within the United Kingdom, Current state of prostate cancer treatment in Jamaica, and Need for and relevance of prostate cancer screening in Nigeria. The basic science perspective is presented in Polyisoprenylated methylated protein methyl esterase as a putative drug target for androgen-insensitive prostate cancer, while the behavioural science perspective is presented in Development and assessment of an evidence-based prostate cancer intervention program for black men. Also, a translational research perspective is provided in Bench to bedside: The realities of reducing global prostate cancer disparity in black men. Finally, the important area of research capacity is presented in Biospecimens, biobanking and global cancer research collaborations.

Without a doubt, it is important to develop and maintain a global community of practice that will continue to address common challenges in eliminating CaP disparities worldwide. The opportunity for a global community of practice is provided by the “Science of Global Prostate Cancer Disparities in Black Men” conference. Founded and organized by the CaPTC in 2010, the conference is held biennially with the primary objective of bringing together CaP scientists, clinicians, survivors, and advocates to share cross cutting CaP research issues and develop the next research priorities to achieve prostate health equity globally.  Building on the successes of the 1st and 2nd biennial conferences, the 3rd Biennial Science of Global Prostate Cancer Disparities in Black men conference will be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, November 4 – 8, 2014. The academic hosts for the 3rd biennial conference are the University of Florida and the University of West Indies. In addition, the conference is co-sponsored by several organizations including: CaPTC, AC3, Men of African Descent and Carcinoma of the Prostate (MADCaP) Consortium, African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC), and the Caribbean Urological Association (CURA). The theme for the 3rd Biennial conference is: “Addressing the Global Burden of Prostate Cancer through CORE Elements: Community Outreach, Research and Education & Training”.

For more information about the conference and additional work highlighting CaP in black men, go to .


[1] Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, Forman D, Mathers C and Parkin DM (2010) GLOBOCAN 2008 v2.0 Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 10 (Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer) Available from: accessed on 08/27/2013

[2] American Cancer Society (2013) Cancer Facts & Figures 2013 (Atlanta: American Cancer Society)

[3] Thomas H (1997) The Slave Trade. The story of the Atlantic slave trade: 1440 – 1870 (New York: Simon and Schuster)

[4] Lovejoy PE (2000) Transformations in Slavery (UK: Cambridge University Press)

[5] Curtin PD (1990) Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census (USA: University of Wisconsin Press)

[6] Odedina FT, Yu D, Akinremi TO, Reams RR, Freedman ML, and Kumar N (2009) Prostate Cancer Cognitive-Behavioral Factors in a West African Population J Immigr Minor Health 11 258-67

[7] Kumar NB, Yu D, Akinremi TO and Odedina, FT (2009)  Comparing Dietary and other Lifestyle Factors among immigrant Nigerian Men living in the US and Indigenous Men from Nigeria: Potential Implications for Prostate Cancer Risk Reduction J Immigr Minor Health  11 391-9

[8] Odedina FT, Scrivens J, LaRose-Pierre M, Emanuel A, Adams AA, Gagne GA, Pressey SA and Odedina AO (2011) Modifiable Prostate Cancer Risk Reduction and Early Detection Behaviors in Black Men Am J Health Behav. 35 470-484

[9] Odedina FT, Gagne GA, LaRose-Pierre M, Emanuel A, Scrivens J, Adams AA, Pressey SA and Odedina AO (2011) Within-group differences between native-born and foreign-born Black men on prostate cancer risk reduction and early detection practices J Immigr Minor Health 13 996-1004

[10] Odedina FT, Gagne GA, Pressey SA, Odedina AO,  Emanuel A,  Scrivens J, R. Renee Reams, Adams AA and LaRose-Pierre M (2011) Prostate Cancer Health and Cultural Beliefs of Black men: The Florida Prostate Cancer Disparity Project Infect Agent Cancer 6 Suppl 2:S10

Special Issue Articles

Folakemi T Odedina, Oluwayemisi O Awoyemi, Shannon Pressey, Samuel Gaddy, Eva Egensteiner, Ezekiel O Ojewale, Olivia Myra Moline, Chloe Marie Martin
Rosemary A Poku, Felix Amissah, Randolph Duverna, Byron J Aguilar, Gebre-Egziabher Kiros, Nazarius S Lamango
TO Akinremi, A Adeniyi, A Olutunde, A Oduniyi, CN Ogo
Belinda F Morrison, William D Aiken, Richard Mayhew