Researchers report the discovery of a gene mutation that is linked to familial prostate cancer risk. The study is published in January 12 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. The gene mutation was identified in HOXB13 gene and has been found to occur at increased rates in men who have a history of prostate cancer in their families. The research team believes that this could be the beginning of the cracking of the prostate cancer code and can have a significant effect on treatment of prostate cancer.
The HOXB13 gene plays a significant role in the development of prostate gland during fetal stage and function during the course of life. The mutation in the gene was isolated consistently in men with prostate cancer after researchers analyzed over 200 genes in about 94 men with prostate cancer and their families.
Research Data and Details
- 94 families were studied for multiple prostate cancers among relatives.
- Over 200 genes were analyzed.
- HOXB13 gene mutation was found in members of 4 different families.
- 18 men of the four families with prostate cancer carried the gene mutation.
- The mutation was studied and analyzed in 5,100 men with prostate cancer and 1,400 men without prostate cancer
- Mutation was present in significant rates in men with prostate cancer while only one man in the control group showed presence of the mutation.
- The gene results were compared in 7000 European men. The study indicated that there was a 20 times increased chance of men with prostate cancer carrying the mutation when compared to those without.
- The mutation occurred in significant rates in men with a family history of prostate cancer and early diagnosis.
According to the American Cancer Society, over 2 million men live with prostate cancer. The latest findings are in the right direction since patients carrying in the gene mutation can benefit from identification of aggressive cancer and subsequent treatment. The genetic findings are in the preliminary stages and further research would be required to ascertain the actual rate at which the gene mutation is indicative of prostate cancer risk.
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