UH Cancer Center researcher receives $3.5M to improve prostate cancer risk prediction

June 17, 2022

Lang Wu
Lang Wu

University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center Assistant Professor, Lang Wu, PhD, and nationwide collaborators secured a $3.5 million research grant to support a study on prostate cancer. Funded by the National Cancer Institute, the purpose of the study is to increase the understanding of the causes of prostate cancer in an effort to improve the prediction of future disease. The research will help to identify proteins that play a role in prostate cancer development.

As the Principal Investigator, Wu will lead a study to better understand the causes of both overall and aggressive prostate cancer through novel methods across African and European populations in the US, and other countries. The research team will identify proteins that play a role in the development and progression of prostate cancer.

Wu also aims to develop and validate useful predictive models for prostate cancer risk and aggressiveness by incorporating information of the newly determined proteins with genetic and non-genetic information, and applying multiple novel statistical methods.

“For prostate cancer, substantial efforts have been made to identify high-risk populations to improve prostate cancer screening. 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 and risk assessment.” Wu remarked.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men in Hawaiʻi. Annually, an average of 855 men are diagnosed with invasive prostate cancer in the state. An average of 125 men die of prostate cancer in Hawaiʻi each year. 95 percent of prostate cancers are diagnosed at age 55 years and older. Filipinos had the highest proportions of advanced stage prostate cancers (35 percent). Wu’s findings will be relevant across populations, including at-risk ethnic groups in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific. Wu expects that developing improved predictive models can help identify individuals who have a high risk of developing prostate cancer.