Does the absence of a protein, known as DARC, increase prostate cancer severity in African-Caribbean men?

In a nutshell

A pilot investigation looking at whether the absence of a protein called DARC is linked to the fact that African-Caribbean men are more likely to develop prostate cancer.

Why we funded it

We know that African-Caribbean men are three times more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men of the same age and that the cancers they develop are often more aggressive, but we don’t know why. The researchers have identified that a protein called DARC, known to remove certain proteins that can speed up the rate of cancer growth (growth factors) is missing in over 60% of African-Caribbean men.

To test whether the lack of DARC is associated with more aggressive cancers the researchers will test the blood and prostate tissue of both African-Caribbean men and white men to see whether is amount of DARC is associated with the severity of disease.

If the link is proven then African-Caribbean could be tested for DARC using a simple blood test. This would identify men at high risk of developing aggressive disease so that they could be closely monitored. 

Grant information

Researcher - Dr Christine Galustian
Institution - King's College London
Grant award - £49,787
Duration - 2014-2015
Reference - PA13-005 Galustian