Gene research offers prostate cancer diagnosis advantages

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

An international research project has uncovered a wide variety of potential genetic markers that could be used to improve the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Carried out by a consortia of research hubs around the world, numerous teams analysed more than ten million genetic markers in 80,000 men, the largest analysis of genetic biomarkers ever performed.

“Australian scientists have completed a major research project that will make genetic analysis to predict prostate cancer risk more effective in future.“

As a result, 23 new genomic risk sites for prostate cancer were discovered in addition to the 76 identified previously, bringing the overall total to nearly 100 - more than any other cancer. These genetic variants can be used to explain 33 per cent of the familial risk of the disease.

Multi-ethnic analysis of the 80,000 individuals found some risk variants were more common in different ethnic populations, while it could also be possible to determine which patients could suffer from the most deadly forms of the disease.

Study leader Dr Jyotsna Batra said: "Being able to predict the aggressive form before it goes on to spread is a goal of the future research, because even after the prostate is removed a few cells can go on to kill the person."

In the UK, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, with over 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

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