Large Genomic Analysis Reveals New Genetic Anomalies in Advanced Prostate Cancer Patients

Large Genomic Analysis Reveals New Genetic Anomalies in Advanced Prostate Cancer Patients
A study recently published in the journal Cell revealed genetic anomalies in biopsy samples from patients with advanced prostate cancer through a large multi-institutional integrative clinical sequencing approach. The study is entitled “Integrative Clinical Genomics of Advanced Prostate Cancer” and was developed by an international collaboration of researchers. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men with almost one million new cases diagnosed each year worldwide. It is a curable cancer that can range from slow-growing tumors to rapidly progressing aggressive tumors, which are more difficult to treat. Previous studies have focused on the genomic characterization of clinically localized prostate cancer, but have only found a few genomic alterations. This collaborative research team has now sequenced the DNA and RNA of cancer biopsy samples from 150 men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, an advanced cancer form that is no longer responsive to standard hormone-based therapies. This study represents the first major analysis of this aggressive cancer in a clinical context. The research team found that almost all the tumor samples analyzed had a genetic anomaly known to promote cancer development. The most common anomaly found, present in almost two-thirds of the patients, was in the androgen receptor. This observation was not surprising, since castration-resistant prostate cancers are non-responsive to conventional androgen-blocking therapies. Mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, known to be linked to a h
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