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article imageResearch finds super aggressive gene in prostate cancer

By Marcus Hondro     Apr 10, 2013 in Health
A faulty gene leading to the most aggressive forms of prostate cancer has been identified and hope is that treatment will be able to target men with the BRCA2 gene earlier. Men with BRCA2 are in greater danger should they get prostate cancer.
The study was conducted by a combined research team from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust, both in London. The research found men who inherit the BRCA2 gene and get prostate cancer benefit from immediate intervention.
"It is clear from our study that prostate cancers linked to inheritance of the BRCA2 cancer gene are more deadly than other types," senior author Prof. Ros Eeles of ICR said in a statement. "It must make sense to start offering affected men immediate surgery or radiotherapy, even for early-stage cases that would otherwise be classified as low-risk."
Prostate cancer in BRCA2 gene carriers
To come to their conclusions the team examined the medical records of 2,019 prostate cancer patients, most who did not have the BRCA2 mutation (it's relatively rare). Sixty-one of them did have the mutation and the researchers found that those with BRCA2 lived on average just 6.5 years after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, while those without it lived on average 12.9 years past their diagnosis.
Further, at the time of their diagnosis the prostate cancer in BRCA2 carrying patients was on average significantly more advanced. "The hope is that our study will ultimately save lives by directing treatment at those who most need it," Prof. Eeles said.
The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
More about Prostate cancer, prostate cancer aggressive gene found, BRCA2 gene
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