The Keck School of Medicine of USC will lead a nearly $27 million study on why African-American men were more likely to die from prostate cancer.

The Boyle Heights medical school announced July 17 it would to lead the multi-institutional RESPOND study, the largest of its kind, funded by the National Cancer Institute, National Institute on Minority Health and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Researchers will look at the role of social stressors and genetics to explore why African-American men were at greater risk of developing more aggressive forms of the disease, and were more likely to die from it.

They hope to recruit 10,000 black men nationwide to participate in the study.

“Not only are African-American men twice as likely to develop prostate cancer, but they are more likely to have an aggressive, more lethal form of the disease, and we don’t know why,” said Christopher Haiman, a professor of preventive medicine at the Keck school and principal investigator in the study. “It’s a health disparity that needs to be addressed.”

Recruitment for the RESPOND study will begin in September 2018. For more information, go to respondstudy.org.

Health business reporter Dana Bartholomew can be reached at dbartholomew@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @_DanaBart.