Cancer scientists can now explain a third of the inherited risk of prostate cancer

tao-research-mainAn exciting discovery during a major international study has revealed cancer scientists can now identify men at a 6-fold increased risk of prostate cancer.

Cancer scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, together with researchers in Cambridge, and California found 23 new genetic variants associated with increased risk of the disease.

The study means that scientists can now explain 33% of the inherited origins of prostate cancer in European men and will contribute to determining whether these genetic markers can improve on other tests for the disease.

Professor Ros Eeles, Professor of Oncogenetics at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, said, “Our study tells us more about the effect of the genetic hand that men are dealt on their risk of prostate cancer.

“We know that there are a few major genes that are rare and significantly affect prostate cancer risk, but what we are now learning is that there are many other common genetic variants that individually have only a small effect on risk, but collectively can be very important.”

They are now investigating whether genetic testing could help diagnose more men at risk of developing dangerous forms of prostate cancer that need urgent treatment – something that the current test is unable to determine.

“Building on previous research, this study gives a more complete list of these factors, bringing us closer to knowing who may need screening for prostate cancer and which men may benefit from early treatment. More work needs to be done, but identifying these genetic factors will allow us to better understand the disease and maybe even develop new treatments,” said Professor Eeles.

In Australia, 22,000 men die from cancer every year and one in two Australian men will get cancer in their lifetime – that’s 20% more men than women who will be touched by this terrible disease.

This September is Blue September, an annual campaign that encourages all Australians to face up to cancer in men and promotes research into men’s cancers.

If you are able to make a donation to men’s cancer research this September and help speed up research discoveries like this, we thank you so very much.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]