The Prostate Cancer Foundation and Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vista Equity Partners, have announced a new effort to reduce deaths from prostate cancer, one of the largest health disparities facing Black men today.
“As African American men are at an increased risk for being diagnosed or dying from prostate cancer, understanding their risk profile and applying this knowledge earlier with strategic detection, care, and decisions about cancer risk management are of utmost importance to address health inequity in the United States,” said Mr. Smith. “This is why I made a personal commitment to help accelerate research, encourage African American men to participate in the study and subsequent testing, and develop new detection strategies that have the power to transform how we diagnose and treat this disease and help save lives.”
The research Mr. Smith is supporting will lead to the development of the Smith Polygenic Risk Test for Prostate Cancer, a noninvasive, early detection test that will identify a man’s lifetime prostate cancer risk using a combination of more than 250 genetic variants obtained from a single sample of saliva or blood. The Smith Test is expected to cost less than $90 and will be made available in the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s dedicated Veterans Affairs (VA) network of Centers of Excellence, including the Robert Frederick Smith Center of Precision Oncology Excellence at the VA Chicago.
The test is part of a larger Prostate Cancer Foundation research initiative to improve the understanding of genetic risk in Black men and transform early detection and imaging strategies, risk management, and clinical decision-making by men at the highest lifetime risk of prostate cancer. The research, led by Chris Haiman, ScD, a genetic epidemiologist at the University of Southern California, and international colleagues, is aimed at accelerating the reduction of prostate cancer disparities for Black men by 2030.