Genetic marker may predict early onset of prostate cancer

May 15, 2009,

Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers have identified a genetic marker that is associated with an earlier onset of prostate cancer in Caucasian men who have a family history of prostate cancer. If the data are confirmed, the marker may help clinicians personalize prostate cancer screening.

Veda Giri, M.D., a medical oncologist and director of the Risk Assessment Program at Fox Chase, will present the data at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology on Saturday, May 30.

"Genetic testing for prostate cancer is not yet clinically well characterized as it is for breast, ovarian cancer and ," Giri says. "Markers such as this one are useful because they may help clinicians distinguish between men who are at risk for earlier onset of disease where intensive screening approaches can be discussed. Men who do not carry genetic markers of risk may not need such screening measures."

More than half of all prostate tumors carry a fusion gene called, TMPRSS2-ERG, which may have a role in prostate cancer formation. Recently, scientists reported that a single nucleotide polymorphism, called the Met160Val SNP (also referred to as rs12329760), is associated with the gene fusion. Specifically, prostate cancer patients who carry the T allele of Met160Val are more likely to have a prostate tumor with the than patients who have the C allele.

To find out if the T allele is clinically relevant in men who are at high risk of developing prostate cancer but do not yet have the disease, Giri and colleagues genotyped 631 men enrolled in the Prostate Cancer Risk Assessment Program at Fox Chase. Overall, while there were differences in the distribution of the alleles by race, the risk allele did not have a major contribution to disease in 400 or in 231 Caucasian men with a of prostate cancer. They then evaluated this marker in 183 Caucasian men who have a family history of prostate cancer undergoing follow-up in the Prostate Cancer Risk Assessment Program. They found that the high risk allele was associated with a 2.5-fold increased risk of developing prostate cancer, relative to the low risk allele. Additionally, more men carrying the high risk allele developed prostate cancer earlier than men not carrying the risk allele.

"We need longer follow-up to know the precise time frame for cancer development, but we have learned some information on the difference in time to diagnosis from this study," Giri says.

According to Giri, a similar association between the T allele and disease may exist in African American men with a family history of prostate cancer, however, there were not enough of these men in the study to test the possibility.

"This was a pilot study," Giri says. "We are expanding the study to see if the association holds up in a larger Caucasian patient population. We are also planning collaborations with investigators at other institutions to test if this marker would be informative in African American with a family history."

Source: Fox Chase Cancer Center (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Single blood test screens for eight cancer types

January 18, 2018
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer.

Researchers find a way to 'starve' cancer

January 18, 2018
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to starve a tumor and stop its growth with a newly discovered small compound that blocks uptake of the vital ...

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

January 18, 2018
Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial ...

Modular gene enhancer promotes leukemia and regulates effectiveness of chemotherapy

January 18, 2018
Every day, billions of new blood cells are generated in the bone marrow. The gene Myc is known to play an important role in this process, and is also known to play a role in cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research ...

These foods may up your odds for colon cancer

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—Chowing down on red meat, white bread and sugar-laden drinks might increase your long-term risk of colon cancer, a new study suggests.

The pill lowers ovarian cancer risk, even for smokers

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—It's known that use of the birth control pill is tied to lower odds for ovarian cancer, but new research shows the benefit extends to smokers or women who are obese.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.