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Genetic variant associated with aggressive form of prostate cancer
Date:1/11/2010

developing aggressive prostate cancer, the researchers hypothesized that inherited genetic variants exist that could be used as markers to identify these men at an early, curable stage of disease.

"Identifying factors that are associated with a risk of having or developing aggressive disease is urgently needed to reduce over-diagnosis and over-treatment of this common cancer," said Karim Kader, M.D., Ph.D., a Wake Forest Baptist urologist specializing in prostate cancer and a co-author on the paper.

The study involved the analysis of genetic information from 4,849 men with aggressive disease and 12,205 with slow-growing disease to determine if the men with aggressive disease had genetic variants in common. The analysis included participants in the Genetic Markers of Susceptibility study performed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as well as additional study populations in the U.S. and Sweden.

The researchers identified a genetic variant (rs4054823) that was associated with a 25 percent higher risk of developing aggressive disease.

"A single variant with a moderate effect such as this is unlikely to be sufficient on its own at predicting risk," said Xu. "But its identification is significant because it indicates that variants predisposing men to aggressive disease exist in the genome."

He said that as more variants associated with aggressive disease are identified, it is possible that doctors could test men to determine their risk of aggressive disease not only at the time of diagnosis, but early enough in their lives to target them for increased screening.

"We speculate that a panel of variants could be an important part of developing a screening strategy that could reduce the number of men requiring screening, thereby reducing over-diagnosis, while also identifying men at risk for developing aggressive disease at a stage when the disease is potentially curable."


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Contact: Karen Richardson
krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu
336-716-4453
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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