The African American Hereditary Prostate Cancer (AAHPC) Study is an ongoing multicenter genetic linkage study organized by Howard University and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), with support from the Office for Research on Minority Health and the National Cancer Institute. The goals of the study are to: (i) look for evidence of involvement of chromosome 1q24-25 (HPC1) in African American men with hereditary prostate cancer (HPC) and (ii) conduct a genome-wide search for other loci associated with HPC in African American men. To accomplish these goals, a network has been established including Howard University, the NHGRI, and six Collaborative Recruitment Centers (CRCs). The CRCs are responsible for the identification and enrollment of 100 African American families. To date, 43 families have been enrolled. Recruitment strategies have included mass media campaigns, physician referrals, community health-fairs/prostate cancer screenings, support groups, tumor registries, as well as visits to churches, barber shops, and universities. By far, the most productive recruitment mechanisms have been physician referrals and tumor registries, yielding a total of 35 (81%) families. Approximately 41% (n = 3400) of probands initially contacted by phone or mail expressed interest in participating; the families of 2% of these met the eligibility criteria, and 75% of those families have been enrolled in the study, indicating a 0.5% recruitment yield (ratio of participants to contacts). As the first large-scale genetic linkage study of African Americans, on a common disease, the challenges and successes of the recruitment process for the AAHPC Study should serve to inform future efforts to involve this population in similar studies.
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