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

Elevated macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 (MIC-1) may indicate the severity of prostate cancer in African American men, according to a study published in Cancers.

In this study, researchers assessed the difference between Black and white men using Mann-Whitney tests for continuous variables and Fisher’s exact tests for categorical variables. They used Pearson’s correlation coefficient to discern any links between continuous measures within each race and across all samples.

Following analysis, the researchers observed notable 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 had higher Gleason scores (mean, 6.9) compared with white men (mean, 6.5) during earlier stages prostate cancer. Moreover, in Caucasian men with prostate cancer, serum MIC-1 expression was positively associated with age (P<0.01), while African American men showed highly expressed MIC-1 and high Gleason scores (P=0.3). The researchers noted that, interestingly, the urine MIC-1 levels were significantly higher in African American men with prostate cancer than in Caucasian patients.

The researchers concluded, “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.”

They added that “a larger cohort of sample analysis is required to validate these observations.”