The North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (PCaP): Methods and Design of a Multidisciplinary Population-Based Cohort Study of Racial Differences in Prostate Cancer Outcomes

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BACKGROUND.The North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (PCaP) is a multidisciplinary study of social, individual, and tumor-level causes of racial differences in prostate cancer aggressiveness.METHODS.A population-based sample of incident prostate cancer cases from North Carolina and Louisiana will include 1,000 African Americans and 1,000 Caucasian Americans. Study nurses administer structured questionnaires and collect blood, adipose tissue, urine, and toenail samples during an in-home visit. Clinical data are abstracted from medical records, diagnostic biopsies are reviewed and assayed, and tissue microarrays are constructed from prostatectomy samples. Prostate cancer aggressiveness is classified based on PSA, clinical stage, and Gleason grade.RESULTS.Preliminary data demonstrate between- and within-group differences in patient characteristics, screening, and treatment by race and state. Participation exceeds 70% in all groups.CONCLUSIONS.Preliminary data support the feasibility of this comprehensive study to help determine the focus of public health efforts to reduce racial disparities in prostate cancer mortality.

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