With only a saliva swab, men could find out if they are at high risk of prostate cancer or not. UK researchers have found various genetic changes that could make prostate cancer almost four times more likely in some men.
At the moment, three London GP surgeries involve 300 men with prostate cancer to test spit. Researchers want to see if the new 63 DNA changes linked to high risk match actual cancer cases.
Prostate cancer is a common type of cancer among men, and almost half of the cases are believed to have a genetic link rather than an unhealthy lifestyle.
Testing DNA to Find The Risk of Prostate Cancer
A team of researchers (Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and Cambridge University) found after studying the genetic information of 140,000 men (out of which 80,000 had prostate cancer) that 63 new genetic changes can increase the risk.
Until now, only 100 genes were linked to the disease. The findings were published on 11 June in the journal Nature Genetics. Now, the study is in clinical trials in the UK, testing the results. Successfully identifying the risks can help with screening for cancer and finding it in the early stage.
Professor Rosalind Eeles is a professor of oncogenetics at the Institute of Cancer Research, and explains the next step of the research:
“If we can tell from testing DNA how likely it is that a man will develop prostate cancer, the next step is to see if we can use that information to help prevent the disease.”
Dr. Iain Frame is the director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, adding that:
“This new research could help men to understand their individual genetic risk of prostate cancer, which could prompt them to speak to their GP about the disease.”
Frame concludes that diagnostic tests are urgently needed for a “nationwide screening programme.”
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere