The following article features coverage from the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.

Among younger Black men in the United States, more frequent screening for prostate cancer may be linked with lower risks of both metastasis and fatal disease, according to research being presented at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.1

Statistics suggest that, compared with White men, Black men in the United States are approximately 1.5 times as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 2 times as likely to have fatal disease.2,3 In Black patients, furthermore, prostate cancer tends to be diagnosed at a more advanced stage.

Evidence-based guidelines for disease screening using prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests were developed without using sufficient representation from Black individuals. This has led, especially among individuals aged younger than 55 years, to a lack of proper screening guidance.4

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For the current study, Edmund M. Qiao, BS, of the University of California, San Diego, and colleagues set out to determine if there is a relationship between PSA screening intensity and prostate cancer outcomes among Black patients aged 40 to 55 years.

The study included data from 4726 Black patients in the Veterans Health Administration database. All patients were diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2004 and 2017.

Screening intensity was defined as the proportion of years prior to diagnosis during which an individual underwent PSA screening, including the 5 years prior to diagnosis.

Screening intensity was found to be predictive of both disease stage and risk of mortality. Increased screening intensity correlated with a 40% reduced risk of metastatic disease at diagnosis and with a 25% reduced risk of death from prostate cancer.

“The findings reinforce the importance of early PSA screenings in African American men, as our research suggests that earlier PSA screening may improve their prostate cancer outcomes,” Qiao said in a press release. “The findings also bring us closer to addressing racial disparities that exist in prostate cancer.”

Disclosures: One study author declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures. 

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor’s coverage of the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting by visiting the conference page.


  1. Qiao E, Kotha N, Nalawade V, et al. Association of increased intensity of prostate-specific antigen screening in younger African American men with improved prostate cancer outcomes. J Clin Oncol. 2021;39:(suppl 15; abstr 5004). doi:10.1200/JCO.2021.39.15_suppl.5004
  2. Villarroel MA, Blackwell DL, Jen A. Tables of Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: 2018 National Health Interview Survey. National Center for Health Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Updated 2019. Accessed May 20, 2021.
  3. Cancer Stat Facts: Prostate Cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Accessed May 20, 2021.
  4. Final Recommendation Statement: Prostate Cancer: Screening. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force website. Accessed May 20, 2021.