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Open AccessArticle

Circulatory MIC-1 as a Determinant of Prostate Cancer Racial Disparity

Department of Pathology, MCW Cancer Center and Prostate Cancer Center of Excellence, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA
Department of Biostatistics and Data Science, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA
Department of Pathology, Saint Luke’s Health System of Kansas City, Kansas City, MO 64111, USA
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cancers 2020, 12(10), 3033;
Received: 21 August 2020 / Revised: 25 September 2020 / Accepted: 11 October 2020 / Published: 18 October 2020
African American men are diagnosed with more aggressive prostate cancer and have worse outcomes than Caucasians. This study examined the role of MIC-1 as a risk factor and demonstrated a conceptual observation for the differential level of MIC-1 in circulation (serum and urine) and tumor tissues from prostate cancer patients of racial disparity. The circulatory MIC-1 levels in serum and urine are significantly higher in prostate cancer patients of African American ethnicity, with higher sensitivity and specificity than Caucasians. The validation of circulatory MIC-1 in a larger cohort of patients may help identify high-risk prostate cancer patients and develop race-oriented therapies to reduce the observed cancer outcome gaps between the races.
In this study, we investigated the potential of MIC-1 (macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1) on the severity of prostate cancer between African American men and Caucasians. Differences between the races were examined using Mann–Whitney tests for continuous variables and Fisher’s exact tests for categorical variables. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used to identify associations between continuous measures across all samples and within each race. Analysis of variance, including clinical parameters, was used to identify differences in serum and urine MIC-1 levels between races. We found significant differences between the two races for age (p = 0.01), Gleason scores (p = 0.01), and stage of disease (p = 0.03). African American men in the study had higher Gleason scores (mean = 6.9) than Caucasians (mean = 6.5), during earlier stages of the disease. In Caucasian men with prostate cancer, serum MIC-1 expression was positively associated with age (r = 0.7, p < 0.01). However, African American men had highly expressed MIC-1 and high Gleason scores (r = 0.16, p = 0.3). Interestingly, the urine MIC-1 level was significantly higher in African American men with prostate cancer than in Caucasian patients. It appeared to be more sensitive and specific for African Americans (AUC = 0.85 vs. 0.56). Thus, high circulatory MIC-1 in prostate cancer patients may indicate MIC-1 as a potential biomarker to improve the diagnostic ability of an aggressive stage of prostate cancer in African American men. However, a larger cohort of sample analysis is required to validate these observations. View Full-Text
Keywords: MIC-1; racial disparity; prostate cancer; biomarker MIC-1; racial disparity; prostate cancer; biomarker
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Karan, D.; Wick, J.; Dubey, S.; Tawfik, O.; Van Veldhuizen, P. Circulatory MIC-1 as a Determinant of Prostate Cancer Racial Disparity. Cancers 2020, 12, 3033.

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