It has been noticed that there are some forms of prostate cancer which spread rapidly, but some of them do not require treatment.
Doctors have come up with a genetic test which can tell them apart.
For a good number of decades, doctors have been in a position of identifying women with high risk of developing breast cancer by simply testing on mutation in BRCA1 as well as BRCA2 genes which tell if a woman can develop breast or ovaries cancer. It is a high time now as researchers have recognized a similar set of genes which may distinguish aggressive prostate cancer. In a medical report published in New England Journal, doctors have found that a panel of 20 genes can be used to distinguish localized prostate cancer which grows slowly and rarely spread from the aggressive type which spreads rapidly.
Dr. P. Nelson in collaboration with cancer research center studied 692 men who have the advanced prostate cancer type by looking at 20 genes which get involved in DNA repair. If it is found that there are more mutations in the genes among men who have metastatic prostate cancer, then it will be a clear indicator that the genes are perfect predictors of more aggressive cancer.
The rate of mutation among male was nearly 12% as compared to 5% among male with slower growing localized prostate cancer.
Message from the study
The message is clear and simple: men with advanced prostate cancer must consider genetic testing so as to help in their treatment and to assist family member to take an early prevention action
There are some anti-cancer drugs which target the mutations identified by researchers. What is going to help these men start an effective treatment is genetic testing. This is because mutations are in the inherited cells, not just tumor cells. The family members should as well use the message to carry out the test.
In the United States, men with the aggressive form of cancer make up to 5% of up to 200,000 cases of prostate cancer. Only 12% have the mutation; this implies that more people are at a high risk of developing advanced disease. Researchers believe doctors are going to offer genetic test since there are some effective treatments which can address their mutation. The insurer should pay for men with prostate cancer.
The Future of the Situation
Shortly, research panel can be used to distinguish men with slow-growing type and the most aggressive type of prostate cancer. This is going to assist the patients to establish whether to use active surveillance or go for more screening and treatment. Doctors should monitor cancer but avoid taking immediate action as it might be the slow growing type.
It is going to take more time and research to establish which male should be getting the test. As per now, the study indicates that family history alone is not enough as those men with mutations did not seem to have a member with cancer. This confirms that – A New Genetic Test Can Spot Aggressive Prostate Cancer