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Free prostate cancer clinics offered Feb. 8 and March 1 — 1,200 survivors sought

San Antonio (Jan. 22, 2003) — Men who have survived prostate cancer can fight back against the disease and make a difference in the lives of their sons and grandsons by attending a one-time clinic at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Researchers in the urology division, department of surgery, invite survivors to make an appointment for a Saturday morning clinic, either Feb. 8 or March 1, at the University Physicians Group Diagnostic Pavilion, 4647 Medical Drive. The research team seeks 400 Hispanic men, 400 African-American men and 400 non-Hispanic Caucasian men to complement an ongoing study looking for biomarkers of risk in the genes of these ethnic groups. The study, known as the San Antonio Center of Biomarkers of Risk for Prostate Cancer (SABOR), already has found genetic variations that are important in predisposing a man to prostate cancer, including a particular variation that triples the risk in Hispanic men who have it.

Hours for the upcoming clinics are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Appointments will be set up for interested individuals who call 567-0214 in San Antonio or 1-800-335-4594 in outlying counties. A blood sample will be drawn. The entire visit should take about an hour and ample parking is available. VIA bus connections also are available, as the Diagnostic Pavilion is across the street from University Hospital. Men who would like to participate but cannot make it to either clinic are invited to call the same numbers for an alternative date.

The SABOR study has enrolled 1,800 healthy men, including nearly 40 percent from minority groups, a rate much higher than other large national studies of prostate cancer. Now the researchers plan to compare genetic signatures of men who have had the disease against signatures of men who have not had it. "It is especially important for three groups of men to seriously consider participating — men with a family history of prostate cancer, African-American men and Hispanic men," said Ian M. Thompson Jr., M.D., principal investigator for SABOR and professor and deputy chairman of surgery at the Health Science Center. "These three groups are seriously affected by the disease and have not been the subject of sufficient research in the past. As it appears that there is a distinctly different set of risk factors for each ethnic group, it is extremely important that this wide range of individuals participate in this study."

Contact: Will Sansom