'Gene test' hope for prostate cancer9th February 2011
A trial carried out by Cancer Research UK has found men with prostate cancer with higher levels of certain genes have more aggressive tumours.
These results could pave the way for a test which could prevent men with milder forms of the disease from being given treatment they do not require.
The team found that men with the highest levels of cycle cell progression (CCP) were 70% more likely to have the worst type of tumours.
The Lancet Oncology reported that further trials were needed to confirm the findings.
New cases of prostate cancer are found in around 37,000 men every year in the UK, making it the most common type of cancer for men.
Tests for the disease are unreliable and one, known as the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test, can incorrectly suggest that the disease is present.
Cancer Research UK have said two thirds of men who show high levels of PSA do not have cancer, but may have to undergo tests and treatment which can cause them anxiety.
Professor Jack Cuzick, who led the research, said: "Our findings have great potential. CCP genes are expressed at higher levels in actively growing cells, so we could be indirectly measuring the growth rate and inherent aggressiveness of the tumour through our test."
"We already know that CCP levels can predict survival for breast and, more recently, brain and lung cancers. It's really encouraging that this could also be applied to prostate cancer, where we desperately need a way to predict how aggressive the disease will be."
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Title: 'Gene test' hope for prostate cancer
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 17505
Date Added: 9th Feb 2011