Results from two genome-wide association studies have identified a genetic variant of the DAB2IP gene that is associated with the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Research teams from the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Wake Forest University School of Medicine, the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions made the discovery jointly.
Researchers suspect that the DAB2IP gene is involved in tumor suppression, suggesting that this protective mechanism goes awry in men with the variant form. The finding, reported today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, might one day help doctors tailor treatment based on a patients genetic makeup.
Both genetic and environmental factors are important in the development of prostate cancer, and it is only recently that some of the consistent genetic factors have been identified. It is not clear at present whether men who are genetically prone to the disease tend to have more aggressive disease than men who are not.
Because there is no way to tell whether a person has or will have the aggressive version versus the mild version of prostate cancer, both forms are treated the samewith radiotherapy or surgery to remove the prostate gland. The identification of this genetic variant could lead to better risk assessment for aggressive disease, providing doctors with more information on how to best treat men who may be diagnosed with prostate cancer, said John Carpten, Ph.D., director of TGens Division of Integrated Cancer Genomics and senior author of the paper.
Analysis of 3,159 samples led the researchers to conclude that men possessing the DAB2IP variant appear to carry a nearly 36 percent increased risk of advanced prostate cancer.
In most cases, prostate cancer is not a death sentence, but it would be ideal to identify men with an aggressive form of disease, said Jianfeng Xu, M.D., Dr.PH, a senior author and a professo
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The Translational Genomics Research Institute