Tags: Cancer | genetic | roots | prostate | cancer

Scientists Discover Genetic Roots of Prostate Cancer

By    |   Tuesday, 07 April 2015 03:17 PM

An international team of scientists has discovered the genetic roots of prostate cancer, potentially opening the door to new gene-based therapies.

The research, published in the journal Nature, is an outgrowth of the International Cancer Genome Consortium, a research initiative designed to uncover the genetic changes that drive cancer, Medical News Today reports.

The findings are based on an analysis of tumors taken from 10 men with prostate cancer that allowed the researchers to map a "family tree" of changes occurring at a genetic level as the cancer develops and spreads.

"We gained a much broader view of prostate cancer by studying both the original cancer and the cells that had spread to other parts of the body in these men," said Ros Eeles, from the Institute of Cancer Research in London. "And we found that all of the cells that had broken free shared a common ancestor cell in the prostate."

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men behind skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death behind lung cancer. One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime.

According to American Cancer Society, 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed annually, and 27,540 men die from it each year.

The new research holds out hope that new gene-based therapies could reduce those numbers.
"The common faults we found in each man could potentially offer new targets for treatment," said Eeles. "But we found that, once cancer cells have spread, they continue to evolve genetically, so choosing the most effective treatments will remain a key challenge."

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Researchers have discovered the genetic roots of prostate cancer, potentially opening the door to new gene-based therapies.
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Tuesday, 07 April 2015 03:17 PM
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