Dr. Rayford on Improving Stratification of Patients With Prostate Cancer

Walter Rayford, MD, PhD, MBA
Published: Friday, Feb 08, 2019



Walter Rayford, MD, PhD, MBA, a urologic oncologist with the Urology Group and associate professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee West Cancer Center, discusses ways to improve stratification of patients with prostate cancer.

Rayford says that his research over the years has been geared toward identifying novel tools to safely place patients in different risk categories. In a study presented at the 2018 OncLive State of the Science Summit™ on Genitourinary Cancers, data suggested that there is a disparity in risk stratification between African American and Caucasian patients with prostate cancer.

Using a commercially available cell-cycle progression (CCP) score called Prolaris, researchers observed that 30% of African-American patients in the study who were initially deemed low-risk were actually at a more aggressive stage of disease. In the Caucasian cohort, 12% of low-risk patients were determined to be at a higher risk using the CCP tool.

Not only does this study help researchers further understand the mechanism of prostate cancer in the different racial groups, but it may eventually allow for a more personalized therapeutic approach. For example, if physicians can detect an aggressive disease early on, physicians can recommend more aggressive treatment much earlier, Rayford explains. He adds that while race-based studies are not yet standardized across the United States, high-impact cancer centers are starting to embrace their importance.
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Walter Rayford, MD, PhD, MBA, a urologic oncologist with the Urology Group and associate professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee West Cancer Center, discusses ways to improve stratification of patients with prostate cancer.

Rayford says that his research over the years has been geared toward identifying novel tools to safely place patients in different risk categories. In a study presented at the 2018 OncLive State of the Science Summit™ on Genitourinary Cancers, data suggested that there is a disparity in risk stratification between African American and Caucasian patients with prostate cancer.

Using a commercially available cell-cycle progression (CCP) score called Prolaris, researchers observed that 30% of African-American patients in the study who were initially deemed low-risk were actually at a more aggressive stage of disease. In the Caucasian cohort, 12% of low-risk patients were determined to be at a higher risk using the CCP tool.

Not only does this study help researchers further understand the mechanism of prostate cancer in the different racial groups, but it may eventually allow for a more personalized therapeutic approach. For example, if physicians can detect an aggressive disease early on, physicians can recommend more aggressive treatment much earlier, Rayford explains. He adds that while race-based studies are not yet standardized across the United States, high-impact cancer centers are starting to embrace their importance.



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Oncology Briefings™: Current Perspectives on Preventing and Managing Tumor Lysis SyndromeJun 30, 20191.0
Community Practice Connections™: 2nd Annual International Congress on Oncology Pathology™Aug 31, 20191.5
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