The study assessed MG-AGEs, SRAGE, GLO1, and AGER, 4 biomarkers that are associated with methyglyoxal.
Investigators have identified 4 biomarkers related to metabolic processes in the body that are associated with an increased risk of metastatic prostate cancer in Black men, according to findings presented at the American Chemical Society 2023 Fall Meeting in San Francisco, California.1,2,3
For the study, the team assessed complexes that are created from the binding of methyglyoxal, a product of metabolism that is elevated in patients with diabetes, to DNA, RNA, and proteins inside cells. These complexes have been known to drive the growth of other cancers when accumulated potentially due to altered stability and function.
To study their role in prostate cancer, blood samples from 371 men with and without prostate cancer were obtained across 4 sites in the United States. Race was identified through genetic evidence obtained from the samples.
The complexes from 4 biomarkers associated with methyglyoxal (MG-AGEs, SRAGE, GLO1, and AGER) were then assessed. Findings showed that Black men had less of these complexes in their blood. Further, the risk of metastatic disease was greater among patients who had a lower level of these complexes.
Data showed a significant association between the biomarkers and prostate cancer in Black men, but the association was not found to be significant among White men. There were also significant differences observed with these complexes in Black men and White men who did not have prostate cancer.
Even when investigators accounted for other potential confounding factors such as body mass index and cholesterol levels, the association seen among in Black participants remained.
According to the news release,2 “The researchers hypothesize that, in men of West African descent, tumor cells sequester these complexes and spur metastatic processes from within.”
Ultimately, the team hopes to develop a multi-component test based on these findings that could help identify men at risk of developing advanced prostate cancer.
"We have identified genetic and molecular changes that can be developed into a tool to predict which Black men are at the highest risk of developing metastatic prostate cancer," said principal investigator Sarah Shuck, PhD, in a news release on the findings.2,3 Shuck is an assistant professor in the Arthur Riggs Diabetes & Metabolism Institute and Department of Diabetes & Cancer Metabolism at City of Hope in Duarte, California.
She added, "This test would give doctors the ability to more accurately predict patients' prognoses and equip scientists with more data as they work to design therapies that prevent prostate cancer from developing in the first place.”
1. Reactive metabolic by-products induced by the exposome are associated with and may drive prostate cancer metastasis in African American men. Presented at the American Chemical Society 2023 Fall Meeting. San Francisco, California. August 13-17, 2023. Accessed August 16, 2023. https://acs.digitellinc.com/sessions/581369/view
2. City of Hope researchers identify biomarkers that may detect risk of advance prostate cancer in Black men. News release. City of Hope. August 15, 2023. Accessed August 16, 2023. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/city-of-hope-researchers-identify-biomarkers-that-may-detect-risk-of-advance-prostate-cancer-in-black-men-301900286.html
3. Detecting risk of metastatic prostate cancer in Black men. News release. American Chemical Society (ACS). August 7, 2023. Accessed August 16, 2023. https://www.newswise.com/articles/detecting-risk-of-metastatic-prostate-cancer-in-black-men?ta=home