A gene that increases breast, prostate cancer risk found

LONDON, Apr 22: Scientists have discovered a faulty gene linked to breast cancer in women that also increases the risk of prostate cancer in men four-fold, a finding they say could lead to early detection of tumours in the gland of male reproductive system.
Researchers from The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in the UK found that men with BRCA1 gene have a one in 11 chance of developing prostate cancer by the age of 65.
It has already been established that the BRCA1 gene ups the chance of developing breast cancer by five folds, meaning women with BRCA1 have six in ten chance of developing the disease as compared to one in eight chance for healthy women. This gene has also been associated with ovarian cancer.
The new findings could help detect whether men with family history of either cancer are carrying a faulty BRCA1 gene so their health can be monitored from an early age, the researchers said.
Study author Prof Ros Eeles, from The Institute of Cancer Research, said: “Until now there has been some doubt as to whether mutations in the BRCA1 gene increase the risk of prostate cancer.”
“This large study has shown that men with prostate cancer have a one in 200 chance of having an alteration of this gene and men with this alteration have a 3.8 fold increased risk of developing the disease,” Prof Eeles was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.
“This translates as nearly nine per cent risk of prostate cancer by the age of 65. The important thing about this result is that there are drugs that can target specific defects that occur with the BRCA1 mutation and this kind of result can open up the possibility of targeted medicines based on genetics.”
In the study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, 913 men underwent genetic screening, with results obtained from 886 and four men were found to have alterations in BRCA1. Three out of those four men were diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 65. (PTI)


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