Genetic markers linked to prostate cancer

June 10, 2010 at 4:42 PM

ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 10 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say they've identified specific genetic markers linked to prostate cancer that might allow the cancer to be predicted in younger men.

Scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center note prostate cancer has become more common in younger men, and it's often more aggressive in that group. But now the scientists say they've found a series of genetic mutations that could help detect such early onset.

"This is a potential opportunity to combine PSA testing with genetic markers to determine who has significant prostate cancer," said study leader Dr. Kathleen Conney, a professor of oncology and chief of hematology-oncology at the medical school. "Early onset prostate cancer has a strong genetic component, which we saw in this study. The genetic variants we looked at here are likely not the best indicators. Our next step is to look more widely for common genetic variants among this group of men."

The research was presented earlier this month in Chicago during the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

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