Prostate Cancer Genes in African American Men May Be Affected by Vitamin D Supplementation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Gerard (Gary) Hardiman, Ph.D Professor, Department of Medicine Professor Department of Public Health Sciences Bioinformatics Director Center for Genomic Medicine Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, SC 29425

Dr. Gerard Hardiman

Gerard (Gary) Hardiman, Ph.D
Professor, Department of Medicine Professor
Department of Public Health Sciences Bioinformatics Director
Center for Genomic Medicine Medical
University of South Carolina
Charleston, SC 29425

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There are significant racial disparities in prostate cancer outcomes. The disease disproportionately affects African American men in terms of incidence, morbidity, and mortality, even after adjustment for stage. African American men have a 2- to 3-times increased risk of developing prostate cancer and have a greater mortality rate compared to European American men. We carried out a prospective clinical study aimed at examining the effects of vitamin D3 supplementation at 4,000 IU per day for two months in male subjects who selected surgical removal of the prostate (prostatectomy) as a definitive treatment for their prostate cancer. The primary goal of this study was to examine molecular differences in gene expression patterns relevant to prostate cancer disparities between African American and European American men, and investigate the global effects of vitamin D3 supplementation on the prostate transcriptome. We carried out genome wide expression profiling experiments using high throughput (HT) RNA sequencing. Transcriptional profiles of each of the patient’s tissue samples were generated and systems level analyses were performed.


MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response :African American men show higher expression of genes associated with immune response and inflammation. Our results support the existence of fundamental biological differences within the prostate between African American and European American men and suggest that over-expression of genes linked to the inflammatory process may contribute to the increased severity and faster progression of prostate cancer in African American men. Our findings also suggest that a considerable number of genes that are differentially expressed in African American compared to European American subjects, can be affected by a short course of vitamin D3 supplementation.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Our analyses support the concept that Inflammatory processes may contribute to disease progression in AA. These transcripts can be modulated by a short course of vitamin D3 supplementation. We acknowledge that the sample size was a limitation of this study. Future studies will enlarge the enrollment of eligible subjects. We will also expand the scope of RNA-seq analyses to single-core prostate biopsy samples obtained prospectively.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: The prostate appears to be, at a molecular level, a “sentinel” organ for health disparities.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:
Gary Hardiman, Stephen J Savage, E Starr Hazard, Robert C Wilson, Sean M Courtney, Michael T Smith, Bruce W Hollis, Chanita Hughes Halbert, Sebastiano Gattoni-Celli. Systems analysis of the prostate transcriptome in African–American men compared with European–American men. Pharmacogenomics, 2016; 17 (10): 1129
DOI:10.2217/pgs-2016-0025

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