One expert thinks these papers add to the general knowledge about prostate cancer's genetic underpinnings. However, how this will be translated into clinical practice is still unknown.
"These papers are adding a little bit to our knowledge of prostate cancer in the genome," said Dr. Durado Brooks, director of prostate and colorectal cancers at the American Cancer Society.
Brooks thinks the Gudmundsson paper is important, because it shows a link between genes and aggressive prostate cancer. "This is the sort of information that has the potential to be most useful in a clinical setting," he said.
Identifying which men are at risk for developing aggressive prostate cancer will be important in terms of offering care and not over treating men whose prostate cancer is less aggressive, Brooks said. "The ability to identify aggressive tumors is likely to be a great benefit," he said.
In addition, Brooks thinks that genetic information will help find ways to modify the risk of developing prostate cancer. This could involve medication and/or lifestyle changes, he said.
"This knowledge could also lead to better diagnosis and treatment," Brooks said.
For more on prostate cancer, visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute.
SOURCES: Stephen Chanock, M.D., head, Genomic Variation Section, U.S. National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md.; Rosalind Eeles, M.D., Ph.D., Reader, Clinical Cancer Genetics, The Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, U.K.; Durado Brooks, M.D., director, prostate and colorectal cancers, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Feb. 10, 2008, Nature Genetics, online
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