Inherited Gene May Increase Risk for Prostate Cancer by 50%

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Results Point to Novel Pathway for Development of Prostate Cancer

A single gene variant may increase a man's risk of prostate cancer by 50%, according to a new study led by researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and published this week in Cancer Research.

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In 2001, Mount Sinai researchers published a study in Science that showed that a gene, known as KLF6, fails to function properly in at least 50 to 60 percent of all prostate cancers. This was the first single gene shown to be responsible for the majority of cases of this disease, which affects approximately 200,000 men each year.

This finding led to the question as to whether or not mutations in this gene that are present from birth might increase an individuals susceptibility to prostate cancer. John Martignetti, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Human Genetics at Mount Sinai and colleagues addressed this question by analyzing differences in the KLF6 gene in 3,411 blood samples from men in registries of three major cancer centers (Johns Hopkins University, the Mayo Clinic and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center). Blood samples were divided into three groups based on the individuals from which they were taken

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