THE WALNUT FOUNDATION PARTNERS WITH PRINCESS MARGARET CANCER CENTRE UHN IN A RESEARCH STUDY TO UNDERSTAND THE GENETIC FACTORS
Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men. Black men are at higher risk of developing and dying from prostate cancer, and this is partly because of genetic risk factors, in addition to a lack of knowledge in the community about prevention and access to the right care.
To understand the genetic factors leading to increased risk of prostate cancer in Black men, and support cancer prevention and early detection, a multi-phase project has been developed by Dr. Neil Fleshner and his team at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, UHN. The project is funded by the Princess Margaret Grand Challenge Award, which focuses on health equity. The team has partnered with TWF, and is working with patient partners and other community organizations to guide all phases of the project called "Family Genetics in Prostate Cancer."
The team wants to find out if genetic differences in blood that can be passed on through families (called germline mutations) of Black men explain the higher risk. The team also wants to reach out to family members of Black men who might be affected by genetic differences. The other part of the project is about educating the community. The team will develop a training program for doctors treating patients in the Black community so that they know more about what to look out for in their patients. The team also wants to find out how the community feels about genetic testing and how the healthcare system can serve them better in addressing the gaps in knowledge and access to care. They are developing prevention and screening campaigns with the community and participating in local community events with TWF to spread the word.