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New Study Discovers 11 Genes Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer – Implications for Screening and Gene Therapy

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Largest Study Reveals Genes Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer

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Introduction

In a groundbreaking study, researchers have identified approximately 11 genes associated with aggressive prostate cancer.

High Risk for Life-Threatening Prostate Cancer

The study reveals that men carrying specific mutations in at least one of these 11 genes have a significantly higher risk of developing life-threatening prostate cancer.

Potential for Innovative Screening Tools and Targeted Gene Therapy

This discovery, made by scientists at the University of Southern California, could lead to the development of more advanced cancer screening techniques and targeted gene therapies.

Study Details

The research team, led by Dr. Borko Darst, an epidemiologist at the University of Southern California, analyzed the genes of over 17,500 men with prostate cancer from various countries including Australia, the US, the UK, Finland, Sweden, and other European countries. The team examined blood samples collected between January 2021 and March 2023, studying approximately 1,700 genes associated with cancer.

Significant Findings

Out of the group of more than 17,000 individuals, 9,185 men were diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer.

Two specific mutated genes, BRCA2 (known for its association with breast cancer risk) and ATM (critical for DNA repair), displayed a strong correlation with severe cases of prostate cancer.

BRCA2 gene variations were found in 2% of aggressive cancers compared to only 0.7% in non-aggressive cases, significantly increasing the risk of developing life-threatening cancer.

Similarly, ATM mutations were present in 1.6% of aggressive cases and 0.7% of non-aggressive cases, doubling the risk.

The harmful NBN gene variation was more prevalent in cases where the cancer had spread to other parts of the body.

Eight other genes were also identified, although their association with aggressive prostate cancer was slightly weaker: MSH2, XRCC2, MRE11A, TP53, RAD51D, BARD1, GEN1, and SLX4i.

Further Research Needed

The study suggests that additional genes should be included in comprehensive genetic testing to accurately assess cancer risk. However, further research is required to determine the specific genes that should be prioritized for testing.

Importance of Genetic Testing

Genetic testing plays a vital role in oncology by providing doctors with essential time to intervene if a problematic mutation is detected.

Publication

The results of this study were published in the journal JAMA Oncology.

Source

Source: Daily Mail

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