Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First genetic factor in prostate cancer prognosis identified

09.04.2013
CNIO researchers, together with scientists in the United Kingdom, have revealed that hereditary mutations in the BRCA2 gene predispose patients to a worse evolution of the illness and a greater risk of developing metastasis

Patients with prostate cancer and hereditary mutations in the BRCA2 gene have a worse prognosis and lower survival rates than do the rest of the patients with the disease.

This is the main conclusion to come out of a study published this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, in which David Olmos, Head of the Prostate Cancer and Genitourinary Tumours Clinical Research Unit at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), has taken part in, along with Elena Castro, a member of the Unit, and British researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

According to Olmos: "Whilst the majority of patients with prostate cancer have an excellent prognosis, one of the biggest challenges we face in daily clinical practice is the difficulty of identifying those patients in which the illness can be fatal".

In order to search for genetic markers that offer clues as to the evolution of the illness, the study's authors examined 61 patients with prostate cancer who were also carriers of mutations in the BRCA2 gene (a gene that suppresses tumours and that protects DNA), 18 patients with mutations in BRCA1 (a gene whose function is similar to BRCA2) and 1,940 patients in which the presence of mutations in both genes had been excluded.

THE LARGEST STUDY TO DATE

The magnitude of the study makes it one of the largest studies carried out so far in prostate cancer patients carrying BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations; these genes are traditionally known for being responsible for familial breast and ovarian cancer syndrome.

Patient analyses showed that BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation carriers were at greater risk for having more advanced prostate cancer at the time of diagnosis, as well as of developing metastasis.

Furthermore, within the subgroup of patients in which the disease had not spread at the time of diagnosis, 23% of carriers of mutations in these genes developed metastasis over the following five years, compared to 7% of those patients who were not carriers. Five years after diagnosis, 19% of BRCA2 mutation carriers with early-stage disease had died, compared with 4% of the non-carriers; there were no significant differences between BRCA1 mutation carriers and non-carriers.

Castro, the first author of the article, says: "These data turn the BRCA2 gene into the first genetic factor for prostate cancer prognosis", to which she adds: "The results of this study suggest the need for a paradigm shift in the clinical management of patients with prostate cancer who are carriers of mutations in the BRCA genes; current treatment standards for these patients appear to be insufficient and there are no specific action guidelines".

"Now that we have managed to identify patients with potentially lethal disease, our next challenge is to explore the most adequate treatments with the least side effects that have a real impact on survival", says Olmos.

Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men worldwide, although in developed countries it is the most frequently found tumour.

This is the case in Spain, where more than 25,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, making it the third cause of cancer-related deaths in men.

Over the past few decades, an increase in cases has been observed due, above all, to longer life expectancies and the widespread use of the PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) screening test in the general population. Fortunately, a decrease in mortality for this disease has also been observed, due to the majority of diagnoses being carried out at an early stage and due to improved treatments.

Even so, there are still cases in which the disease is fatal and efforts as well as resources are being dedicated to identifying those patients with the worst prognosis and to establishing the most appropriate therapeutic strategies.

CNIO'S PROSTATE CANCER & GENITOURINARY TUMOURS CLINICAL RESEARCH UNIT

The Unit was created in September 2012 in order to improve the quality of life and survival rates of prostate cancer patients. Via a multidisciplinary approach, in which molecular biologists, bioinformatics engineers and clinical oncologists work together, the Unit aims to accelerate the translation of new knowledge generated by CNIO and the international scientific community into clinical practice.

The creation of this new Unit has been made possible thanks to the support received from the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) and the CRIS Foundation Against Cancer.

CNIO'S CLINICAL FAMILIAL CANCER UNIT

The Clinical Familial Cancer Unit (UCCF) offers genetic counselling to patients and their relatives suspected of having a hereditary form of cancer. It carries out the identification, evaluation and study of families in which a mutation in susceptible genes might exist, such as in the case of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. The UCCF Consultancy is located within the Medical Oncology Service at the Hospital Universitario de Fuenlabrada (HUF), and works closely with oncologists, other HUF service professionals and other CNIO Groups and Units, in order to evaluate and provide clinical surveillance to patients at risk of suffering from familial, hereditary forms of cancer. The UCCF also offers its services to healthcare professionals and hospitals anywhere in the country.

Nuria Noriega | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cnio.es

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Chains of nanogold – forged with atomic precision
23.09.2016 | Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland)

nachricht Self-assembled nanostructures hit their target
23.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

Im Focus: Launch of New Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing

At AKL’16, the International Laser Technology Congress held in May this year, interest in the topic of process control was greater than expected. Appropriately, the event was also used to launch the Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing. The group provides a forum for representatives from industry and research to initiate pre-competitive projects and discuss issues such as standards, potential cost savings and feasibility.

In the age of industry 4.0, laser technology is firmly established within manufacturing. A wide variety of laser techniques – from USP ablation and additive...

Im Focus: New laser joining technologies at ‘K 2016’ trade fair

Every three years, the plastics industry gathers at K, the international trade fair for plastics and rubber in Düsseldorf. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will also be attending again and presenting many innovative technologies, such as for joining plastics and metals using ultrashort pulse lasers. From October 19 to 26, you can find the Fraunhofer ILT at the joint Fraunhofer booth SC01 in Hall 7.

K is the world’s largest trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry. As in previous years, the organizers are expecting 3,000 exhibitors and more than...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Experts from industry and academia discuss the future mobile telecommunications standard 5G

23.09.2016 | Event News

ICPE in Graz for the seventh time

20.09.2016 | Event News

Using mathematical models to understand our brain

16.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Chains of nanogold – forged with atomic precision

23.09.2016 | Life Sciences

New leukemia treatment offers hope

23.09.2016 | Health and Medicine

Self-assembled nanostructures hit their target

23.09.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>