Men with Both Prostate and Other Cancers May Be Slipping Through Genetic Screening Crack, Study Finds

Men with Both Prostate and Other Cancers May Be Slipping Through Genetic Screening Crack, Study Finds
Men with both prostate and other cancers may be falling through a genetic screening crack that could have flagged the additional cancers, a study reports. Most prostate cancer patients with mutations that predispose them to cancer do not meet guidelines for family-history genetic screening, researchers said. The study, “Germline genetic variants in men with prostate cancer and one or more additional cancers,” was published in the journal Cancer. "We commonly use a combination of a patient's personal and family cancer histories to identify those individuals who may have a mutation in a gene that predisposes that individual to developing cancers," Dr. Patrick Pilié, an oncology fellow at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, said in a news release. He is the first author of the study. "Testing for hereditary cancers impacts not only the patient with cancer but also potentially the cancer screening and health outcomes of their entire family," Pilié said. "But many prostate cancer patients do not meet the current guidelines to test for genetic cancer heritability." The study included 102 patients diagnosed with prostate cancer and at least one additional cancer. Advanced next-generation DNA sequencing methods showed that 11 percent of the patients had gene mutations that could contribute to prostate cancer development. Many of the genes were involved in DNA repair pathways. "These mutations prevent the DNA from healing its
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