Dr. Singla on closing the racial gap in kidney cancer outcomes


In this video, Nirmish Singla, MD, MSc, shares the take-home message from the recent Urologic Oncology paper “Socioeconomic determinants of racial disparities in survival outcomes among patients with renal cell carcinoma.” Singla is an associate professor of urology and oncology in the Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.


Is further research on this topic planned? If so, what will it focus on?

In ongoing separate work, using both institutional samples as well as publicly annotated molecular datasets, we are in the process of trying to better understand some of the molecular differences that underpin biologic differences underlying RCC outcomes, and we're doing so by looking at genetic ancestry. And so these exciting observations and investigations will be important to complement some of the clinical and socioeconomic observations that we've described in this recent publication. And although those studies are not quite ready for prime time on a public platform, we are very excited that we should be hopefully soon able to share what we've been finding on a biological level here.

What is the take-home message for the practicing urologist?

For the practicing urologist, we would propose that targeting these social factors that we identified that seem to account for some of the nonbiological discrepancies in survival, and also improving public health awareness and access among underrepresented minority groups, may be critical to help close the racial gap in kidney cancer outcomes across the entire spectrum of disease.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I'll mention that honestly, the inspiration at the beginning to study this question in kidney cancer actually came from the ongoing efforts in the prostate cancer world to disentangle the biology and the socioeconomic factors and influencing outcomes by race. And certainly in prostate cancer, that body of literature has been much more evolved than in the kidney cancer world. And so I think there's a lot that we could definitely learn about different cancer types and identify unique research questions by turning to other efforts that are ongoing in other cancers.

This transcript was edited for clarity.

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