Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genetics a factor in PSA levels

16.07.2003


Genetics causes some men to test higher on the blood test for prostate cancer – even when they don’t have the disease – report researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and colleagues in the July 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The discovery could lead to more accurate testing and fewer unnecessary biopsies, said Scott D. Cramer, Ph.D., lead researcher, from Wake Forest.

"Up to 20 percent of men may have genetic variants that cause levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) that are about 30 percent higher than other men, which could result in needless biopsies," said Cramer. The research was in collaboration with St. Louis University and Washington University School of Medicine.



The PSA blood test, which measures a protein made by prostatic cells, is the most widely used marker to screen for prostate cancer. Cramer, an assistant professor of cancer biology, said the new findings potentially could lead to changes in how PSA results are interpreted and which men are referred for biopsies.

"Further research will be needed to determine how this genetic marker can contribute to making PSA a more accurate screening tool," said Cramer. "Because of the huge importance of accurately diagnosing prostate cancer, we need to find the best way to use PSA to determine who has prostate cancer and who doesn’t."

The researchers analyzed blood samples from 405 white males, with a mean age of 63.7 years, who were part of a study looking at asbestos exposure. The researchers excluded men with prostate cancer. Using DNA sequencing, the researchers identified three variations in part of the gene that controls PSA levels. They found that the variations together contributed to a 30 percent increase in PSA levels. Their analysis suggests that if a man has one variation, he has all three. Approximately 20 percent of the study subjects had the variants.

Testing for the variants is quick and inexpensive, said Cramer, and could one day become part of the PSA screening process.

"If a man has the genetic variants, for example, perhaps he would have a higher PSA cutoff before a biopsy is recommended," said Cramer.

Cramer said additional research should focus on black men, who are known to have higher PSA levels and a greater risk for developing prostate cancer than white men, to see if they have the same variants as the study group.

In addition to race, other factors known to influence PSA levels include age and the presence of non-cancerous prostate disease. The research by Cramer and colleagues is the first to identify specific genetic variants that are responsible for genetic differences in PSA levels. "We’ve known that age, race and disease can influence PSA levels," said Cramer. "Now, we can add genetics to the list."

Currently, many physicians recommend biopsies when PSA levels are greater than 4 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ ml). However, there is considerable controversy about cutoffs, said Cramer.

In the study, which excluded men with prostate cancer, PSA levels ranged from .2 to 20 ng/ml. The group of men with the genetic variants that raised PSA had mean levels of 2.0 ng/ml. The other men had mean levels of 1.5 ng/mg. Cramer is conducting additional research to learn if the genetic variants may contribute to prostate cancer development.

"PSA has a biological role in the prostate – to digest proteins," said Cramer. "It has been shown that PSA can process proteins that are important for prostate growth. One hypothesis is that the higher PSA levels caused by the genetic variants may contribute to prostate cancer development, which would make testing for the variant even more important in the screening process."

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in American men, other than skin cancer, and is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men, exceeded only by lung cancer.

Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wfubmc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New insights into the ancestors of all complex life

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources

29.05.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>