UMES Doctor's Research Improves Prostate Cancer Treatment - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

UMES Doctor's Research Improves Prostate Cancer Treatment

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PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- Some only see Dr. Peter Wang in a classroom setting, but behind the podium and power point slides he is working to make a change to cancer research.

Working out of laboratories at University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Wang is researching why prostate cancer affects African American men more than any other ethnic group.

"Prostate cancer...has the strongest disparity between the two ethnic groups so that's another reason why we chose [to study] this one," Wang said.

Originally from Taiwan, Wang came to UMES last February after living in the D.C. area for several years. Coming to the Eastern Shore has given him more teaching opportunities, as well as the ability to continue research.

"We hope we can help the physician to detect prostate cancer. Especially the aggressive type of prostate cancer," Wang said.

Wang and a team of two other doctors are working together to identify a genetic marker for early cancer detection, and eventually a treatment.

The standard for detecting prostate cancer is by PSA-- Prostate Specific Antigen. Usually the higher the PSA, the higher risk you have for getting cancer. However, Wang and his team are now finding that some patients with low PSA still have cancerous cells.

"PSA is good for a lot of cases but sometimes it's not very reliable. So there's a lot of debate... should we get additional detection biological marker to help supplement for this PSA," Wang said.

Wang's started research in 2010, first by finding patients to participate in the study. Since then he has received a U.S. patent for cancer detection. Wang also hopes he'll have another one by the end of the year.

Victor Hsia, chair of the pharmaceutical science department at UMES, explained that acquiring a patent is very prestigious in itself.

"He's been working in this field for a long time and this patent.. He has the potential to develop as a therapeutic marker also we can use that to develop some type of treatment," Hsia said.

During his time working and teaching in Washington, D.C., he has seen a difference in cancer treatments from urban areas to rural areas. He's hoping to close the gap and better the treatment on the Lower Shore.

"Can we from the different patient from different area can we define more biological differences which could help people here in the rural area to do better treatment," Wang said.

Wang also is working to establish a collaboration with Peninsula Regional Medical Center to help benefit rural cancer care.  

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