New prostate cancer research eyes genetic links in aggressive forms of this disease.
Canadian and Australian prostate cancer researchers have discovered a key piece in the genetic puzzle of why men born with a BRCA2 mutation may develop aggressive localized cancers that resist treatment and become lethal for up to 50 per cent of patients within five years.
The findings, published online today in Nature Communications, show that BRCA2-associated tumours are already pre-set to be aggressive, even before treatment. This is because the genes normally involved in regulating cell growth and division are abnormal in the BRCA2-associated cancers right from the get-go and therefore are resistant to therapy right up front, says co-principal investigator Dr. Robert Bristow, clinician-scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network.
In the Nature Communications study, Dr. Bristow and co-principal investigators Dr. Paul Boutros at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and Prof. Gail Risbridger at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, compared 15 patients with BRCA2-inherited prostate cancer with 500 prostate cancer patients from the general population with non-inherited (“sporadic”) prostate cancer. In the related study of 500 tumours from Canadian men with non-inherited prostate cancer also published today, in Nature, Drs. Bristow and Boutros analyses led to the discovery of a new genetic fingerprint that identifies when curable disease may turn aggressive.
Although BRCA2-inherited disease affects less than 2 per cent of men with prostate cancer, Dr. Bristow says the research sets the stage to rethink ways to use other drugs differently to personalize treatment for more men.
|Read Full Article: Prostate Cancer Team Cracks Genetic Code to Show Why Inherited Disease Can Turn Lethal|