Study Uncovers Why BRCA2-mutant Prostate Tumors Are So Aggressive

Study Uncovers Why BRCA2-mutant Prostate Tumors Are So Aggressive
Men who carry mutations of the tumor-suppressor gene BRCA2 are at higher risk of developing prostate cancer, and chances are they will have a more aggressive form of the disease, but researchers have only now understood why this happens. A recent study has shown that BRCA2 mutations trigger genetic changes in prostate tumors that resemble those seen in metastasis -- or cancer spreading to other organs. The mutations lead to more aggressive disease and poorer prognosis. The research emphasizes the importance of genetic testing in prostate cancer, which can improve personalized treatment and lead to better outcomes. The study, "Germline BRCA2 mutations drive prostate cancers with distinct evolutionary trajectories," was published in Nature Communications. Prostate tumors in men with BRCA2 mutations are very aggressive, associated with younger age of onset, affect the lymph nodes more often than non-BRCA2-mutant tumors, and lead to higher patient mortality rates. In these patients, localized prostate cancer rapidly progresses to metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer. This form of the disease no longer responds to standard hormone therapy, and one result is a five-year survival rate of only 50-60 percent. To understand why BRCA2-mutant prostate cancers are so aggressive, an international team of scientists, led by Australia's Monash University Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI), sought to characterize the genomic alterations seen in men with localized prostate cancers who inherited BRCA2 mutations. After extensive analysis of l
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