Genetic testing for predisposition to certain cancers has really advanced in the past few years. The most popular genetic testing is for breast cancer called BRAC testing. Now the cancer that targets men which is prostate cancer can result of a gene mutation. Some men with prostate cancer have a strong hereditary predisposition due to the gene mutation.
Men with prostate cancer were 20.1 times more likely than controls (P=8.5×10−7) to carry a mutation in HOXB13, which plays a key role in prostate development, Kathleen A. Cooney, MD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues found.
The HOXB13 G84E mutation was significantly more common in early-onset, familial prostate cancer than in cases that developed later in life in men without a strong family history of the disease (3.1% versus 0.6%, P=0.000002).
The mutation won't explain many prostate cancer cases but is a good start, the group noted in the Jan. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
"Although the variant accounts for a small fraction of all prostate cancers, this finding has implications for prostate-cancer risk assessment and may provide new mechanistic insights into this common cancer," they wrote.
Men whose family has a history of prostate cancer can now be tested for the gene mutation. When the kit becomes available one need to see the cost and if insurance will pay for the testing.
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