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Prostate cancer genetic find

11th February 2008

A research team in the UK have found seven new genes linked with prostate cancer, which might help to pinpoint those at risk of the disease.


The study of 10,000 men was funded by Cancer Research UK and was published in Nature Genetics. It showed that the new genes were apparent in more than 50% of cases of the disease.

Over 500,000 "single letter variations in the DNA code" were examined in men from the UK and Australia.

The new genes had not previously been associated with prostate cancer. The team was able to measure levels of one gene called MSMB in the blood, meaning it could be useful in monitoring and screening for cancer.

A trial will begin later in 2008 in order to look for the genes in male subjects who have a family history of the disease.

Although the disease is the most common cancer amongst men in the UK, there is no nationwide screening scheme in existence.

Men who have relatives with prostate cancer are able to undergo a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test. However this is "notoriously inaccurate".

It is hoped that by 2012 men may be able to undergo "genetic profiling" in order to determine their danger of developing the cancer.

Dr Ros Eeles, who led the study at the Institute of Cancer Research said: "From a public health point of view, this could be very helpful because it will allow us to target scarce resources to where they are really needed."

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Article Information

Title: Prostate cancer genetic find
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 5588
Date Added: 11th Feb 2008


The Independent
BBC News
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