J&J once again breaks out the blue jacket for prostate cancer awareness fashion show

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Oncology’s Blue Jacket Fashion Show sashayed live and livestreamed for the seventh time down the runway on Wednesday, Feb. 1, in New York City to help raise awareness of prostate cancer. As usual, the focus is on Black men. The timing is perfect as it kicks off both Black History Month as well as Cancer Awareness Day in February.

The hugely popular event brings back familiar faces and designers year after year including actor Mario Cantone, CNN’s Don Lemon, scientist Bill Nye and chef Marcus Samuelsson. 

Putting their own spin on the traditional blue jacket are designers and stylists such as the Arjona Collection, Thom Browne, Michael Kors, Ben Sherman, Levi’s, Men’s Wearhouse, Stephen F, Bruno Magali, Carlos Campos and Tommy Hilfiger.

The show raises money for prostate cancer advocacy group Zero with Janssen once again matching all donations up to $10,000.

A hugely important addition this year was the Mount Sinai’s Robert F. Smith Mobile Prostate Cancer Screening Unit providing free PSA screenings in Harlem at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and at Moonlight Studios, where the fashion show takes place.

Tyrone Brewer, who recently joined Janssen as president of U.S. Oncology, is especially excited about this new element.

“I think one of the things that may not be well understood is number one—the simplicity of this test—it’s a simple blood test," Brewer explained in an interview. "And two, what it also does is it educates that even just outside of this event when you're going for your own annual physicals, don't be afraid to speak up and really ask specifically, ‘hey, when you're doing my panel, can you do a PSA test?'"

Early detection has shown a 96% survival rate. So, reaching this audience is massively important as not only is prostate cancer the second-leading cause of cancer death in men overall, but for Black men, the stakes are higher.

Black men are 1.8 times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 2.2 times more likely to die from the disease compared to white men, and there is no genetic reason for this difference. Studies have shown that when given proper access to care, Black men have the same positive, if not better, outcome than white men, proving this is an inequality issue.

Janssen has a big stake in the prostate cancer field. Its portfolio includes blockbuster Erleada, approved in 2018. Erleada followed on from Zytiga, which hauled in $2.3 billion in 2021. Also included are commercial rights to GSK's late-stage niraparib (sold as Zejula in the U.S. for certain cancers) in prostate cancer, while GSK keeps the rights for the drug outside that indication.

Competitors in the field include Pfizer and Astellas’ market leader Xtandi and Bayer and Orion’s Nubeqa.