Health + Wellness

Why Black Men Should Consider Immunotherapy for Prostate Cancer


New research conducted by scientists at Northwestern University has found that Black men may have a genetic advantage in immunotherapy treatments for prostate cancer.

Black men are more likely to have a type of cell on their tumors that can be targeted. 

Black men are disproportionately more likely to get and die of prostate cancer than men of other races. 

Prostate cancer is a risk for all men, but it can be especially deadly for African American men. African American men have higher prostate cancer mortality rates than other groups. 

African American men are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, Black men may benefit more from new immunotherapy therapies, which stimulate the immune system to fight cancer. 

The study from Northwestern University uncovered why Black men might have a genetic advantage in immunotherapy treatments. 

More Immune Cells Mean Better Responses to Certain Therapies

The Northwestern University study found that prostate tumors from Black men and men of African ancestry have more plasma cells than tumors in men of other races. 

These plasma cells can be protective. African American men have a higher preponderance of these cells in their tissues, and those higher levels tend to be protective. Patients with higher levels of plasma cells have better outcomes in prostate cancer cases. 

New immunotherapy treatments may be able to target these cells and reduce tumors. Increased plasma cells are associated with improved cancer survival rates following surgery. Researchers identified plasma cells as possibly driving prostate cancer-immune responses. 

If a man’s prostate cancer has numerous plasma cells, researchers found he has an improved chance of cancer survival. The study suggested plasma cells are important in the body’s response to cancer. 

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