Variation in Molecularly Defined Prostate Tumor Subtypes by Self-identified Race

Kevin H. Kensler, Shivanshu Awasthi, Mohamed Alshalalfa, Bruce J. Trock, Stephen J. Freedland, Michael R. Freeman, Sungyong You, Brandon A. Mahal, Robert B. Den, Adam P. Dicker, R. Jeffrey Karnes, Eric A. Klein, Priti Lal, Yang Liu, Elai Davicioni, Walter Rayford, Kosj Yamoah, Timothy R. Rebbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Socioeconomic and health care utilization factors are major drivers of prostate cancer (PC) mortality disparities in the USA; however, tumor molecular heterogeneity may also contribute to the higher mortality among Black men. Objective: To compare differences in PC subtype frequency and genomic aggressiveness by self-identified race. Design, setting, and participants: Five molecular subtype classifiers were applied for 426 Black and 762 White PC patients in the Decipher Genomics Resource Information Database (GRID). Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Differences in subtype frequency and tumor genomic risk (Decipher score >0.6) by race were evaluated using χ2 tests and multivariable-adjusted logistic regression models. Results and limitations: Subtype frequencies differed by race for four classifiers. Subtypes characterized by the presence of SPOP mutations, SPINK1 overexpression, and neuroendocrine differentiation were more common among Black men. ERG and ETS fusion-positive subtypes were more frequent among White men, with no clear differences for subtypes reflecting luminal versus basal lineage. The hypothesized low-risk Kamoun S2 subtype was associated with a lower Decipher score among White men only (p = 0.01 for heterogeneity), while the aggressive You PCS1 subtype was associated with a higher Decipher score among White men only (p = 0.001 for heterogeneity). The Tomlins ERG+ subtype was associated with a higher Decipher score relative to all other subtypes among Black men, with no association among White men (p = 0.007 for heterogeneity). Conclusions: The frequency of PC molecular subtypes differed by self-identified race. Additional studies are required to evaluate whether our observations suggest differences in the tumor genomic risk of progression by self-identified race. Patient summary: We studied five classifiers that identify subtypes of prostate tumors and found that subtypes differed in frequency between Black and White patients. Further research is warranted to evaluate how differences in tumor subtypes may contribute to disparities in prostate cancer mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Urology Open Science
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Cancer disparities
  • Prostate cancer
  • Tumor subtypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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