Research Projects Aim to Improve Prostate Cancer Outcomes in New York State

CRC Director and Professor of Biomedical Sciences Martin Tenniswood, with Ph.D. Student Esma Alp of Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey, is leading three new projects aimed at improving Prostate Cancer outcomes in New York. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 22, 2016) -- Scientists at the University at Albany’s Cancer Research Center (CRC) are developing three new projects aimed at improving prostate cancer outcomes for New Yorkers. The studies will focus on examining minority health disparities, understanding the role of environmental pollution and risk for the disease, and developing less invasive screening tests in prostate cancer diagnosis.

With roughly 220,000 new cases in the United States each year, prostate cancer remains the second most common form of cancer among men after skin cancer. In New York, about 15,000 men are diagnosed with the disease and as many as 1,700 die each year.

CRC Director and Empire Innovation Professor of Biomedical Sciences Martin Tenniswood is spearheading the initiative through the newly-formed Prostate Cancer Research Working Group.

Building on existing statewide resources, the projects include:

  • An examination of the health and economic disparities in prostate cancer outcomes and treatment delivery using the Department of Health Cancer Registry and Medicare/Medicaid date sets to identify the underlying (non-biological) causes for the observation that Black men are 1.6 times more likely to be diagnose with prostate cancer, and 2.5 times more likely to die of prostate cancer than white men.
  • An epidemiological examination of the association between hazardous waste sites in New York and the risk of prostate cancer, using the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS), the Dept. of Environmental Conservation and geographic information systems (GIS) mapping to determine whether the likelihood of developing aggressive prostate cancer is associated with living close to sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Development of novel non-invasive imaging technology for screening for prostate cancer, to replace either the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test and eliminate trans-rectal ultrasound guided needle biopsies for the diagnosis of prostate cancer, and its associated morbidities.

UAlbany has received a $75,000 grant through the New York State Department of Health to support these projects, which have the potential to have a major impact in the understanding and treatment of the disease.

UAlbany’s School of Public Health, home to the department of Biomedical Sciences, was created through a memorandum of understanding between the University at Albany and NYSDOH. The School has advanced biomedical research, public health policy and program development, peer-reviewed scholarship, and teaching. This year, it is celebrating the 30th anniversary of this unique model of graduate public health education.

The School, initially located within NYSDOH with its staff as the founding faculty, has evolved to have an independent campus and full-time academic faculty, but remains closely linked with the Department of Health. The School and the Department work together to improve the health of the New York’s citizens by providing an academic focus to problems faced in health department practice settings.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciencesbusiness, public health, health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.



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