For the past two years, Scott Kafker has served as Chief Justice of the Appeals Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the apex of a lengthy career as an appeals court judge. Governor Charles L. Baker appointed him to the position, which oversees the state’s entire appellate process with the exception of capital murder cases. Outside of his legal career, Scott Kafker is committed to causes that support cancer research and prevention, and he previously served on the board of trustees at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
A recent study published by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has discovered genetic anomalies linked to prostate cancer are more likely to be found in African-American patients. Researchers believe this data may be a significant key to unlocking the reason why this patient population tends to have higher prostate cancer incidence and fatality rates than other populations.
In studying data from The Cancer Genome Atlas, researchers found these genetic abnormalities in roughly five percent of tumor samples from African-American men, compared to only one percent of a mostly Caucasian population. Dana-Farber oncologist Franklin Huang, MD, PhD, pointed to the results as an important informational tool that researchers can use moving forward as they continue to study the disproportionately high prostate cancer rates in the African-American population.