Prostate Cancer Risk Predicted by DNA

Men with a lifelong risk of prostate cancer may be able to get a heads-up thanks to new advances in gene sequencing technologies, according to new research out from the Institute of Cancer Research in the U.K.

The resulting study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, discussed the beneficial uses of DNA sequencing when looking for early risk indicators of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is a particularly difficult cancer to catch early, because there are no warning signs for early prostate cancer. Once the first symptoms begin to appear, the cancer has already set in and begun to spread. It is also relatively deadly. Of the 238,590 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed last year in the U.S. alone, 29,720 patients died, according to the American Cancer Institute.

However, according to researchers from The Institute of Cancer Research in the U.K., genetic sequencing may offer an option to help keep men and their doctors vigilant. Gene makers, according to the researchers’ study, can help identify individuals at particularly high risk of prostate cancer early in life, so that they and their doctors can begin to take preventative steps.

According to the study, using advancing DNA sequencing technologies, the researchers were able to asses 22 different known cancer genes at the same time, highlighting genetic markers in men that indicate a significant likelihood of developing prostate cancer as they age.

After assessing these 22 genes, the researchers found 13 varied mutations in eight specific genes that could notify health professionals of a risk of developing an advanced and invasive case of prostate cancer. With this knowledge, the researchers argued, health providers can screen men rapidly and efficiently for an increased risk of developing the cancer down the line.

Of course, while knowing he is at a greater risk of developing prostate cancer won’t exactly save a patient, the knowledge will allow the patient and doctor alike to be extra vigilant for any of the first symptoms of prostate cancer. If more men are able to catch their cancer in its earliest stages, it is the hope of the study’s authors that the survival rate for the cancer can be improved.

The study was published for release in the March issue of the British Journal of Cancer.

The following two tabs change content below.