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Genetic risk factors may tailor prostate cancer screening approaches
Date:11/17/2008

Men with a family history of prostate cancer and African-American men are particularly susceptible to the disease, with a twofold to sevenfold increased risk. Assessing risk in these populations has been difficult.

"There have been years of effort to try to identify genes and genetic mutations associated with prostate cancer as there are for breast cancer," said Veda N. Giri, M.D., director of the Prostate Cancer Risk Assessment Program (PRAP) at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia. "Prostate cancer is a more genetically complex disease."

Giri and colleagues studied patients who are part of the center's Prostate Cancer Risk Assessment Program, an early detection program for men with a high prostate cancer risk. More than 700 participants are enrolled; 60 percent are African-American.

The investigators evaluated the clinical characteristics of men at high risk for prostate cancer; those who carry five genetic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that have been associated with prostate cancer in recent studies. These genetic changes have mostly been reported in predominantly Caucasian populations and are being studied in African-American men as well.

"We are interested in looking at how these genetic risk markers can be used for assessing the risk for prostate cancer in high-risk men," said Giri. "These are men who have not yet developed prostate cancer, such as African-American men and men with family members with the disease. Can these markers be used as an indicator of upcoming prostate cancer?"

The men enrolled in PRAP are aged 35 to 69 years and meet one of the following criteria: one first-degree relative with prostate cancer or two second-degree relatives with prostate cancer on the same side of the family. The group also includes African-American men with BRCA 1/2 mutations.

Giri and colleagues compared the Caucasian high-risk men in PRAP with a control group, an all-Caucasian set of men who ha
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Contact: Jeremy Moore
Jeremy.moore@aacr.org
267-646-0557
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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