Mutations in 3 Cancer Genes May Help to Mark Aggressive Prostate Cancers

Mutations in 3 Cancer Genes May Help to Mark Aggressive Prostate Cancers
Researchers are one step closer to identifying those men at risk of dying from their prostate cancer, having found that mutations in three well-known cancer genes are linked to a worse prognosis. Although only a small proportion of prostate cancer patients die of the disease, it is currently difficult to predict who they are and offer them appropriate, more aggressive treatment. The study, “Germline Mutations in ATM and BRCA1/2 Distinguish Risk for Lethal and Indolent Prostate Cancer and are Associated with Early Age at Death,” was published in the journal European Urology. To get a better idea of indicators of an aggressive disease course, researchers analyzed medical records of 313 patients with lethal prostate cancer and 486 with indolent, or slow-growing cancer. The men were of European, African-American, and Chinese descent. "Our aim is to find genetic markers among men who are at high risk of developing an aggressive prostate cancer," Dr. William Isaacs, PhD, a professor of Urology at the Johns Hopkins Brady Urological Institute and member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, said in a press release. Isaacs is one of three senior investigators collaborating on the study. The team homed in on the three genes — ATM, BRCA1,
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