Scientists in the Center for Human Genomics at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions have discovered a gene that "may play an important role in prostate cancer susceptibility in both African-American men and men of European descent."
The 31-member team reports in the October issue of Nature Genetics that mutations in the MSR1 (for Macrophage Scavenger Receptor 1) gene were found in 4.4 percent of Caucasians who had prostate cancer, compared to 0.8 percent who were found to be unaffected following prostate cancer screening. A different mutation of the gene was found in 12.5 percent of African-American men with prostate cancer, compared to 1.82 percent of unaffected men.
Both differences are highly significant statistically. "One of the mutations leads to prostate cancer that has rapid metastasis," said Jianfeng Xu, M.D., Dr. P.H., associate professor of both public health sciences (epidemiology) and cancer biology at Wake Forest.
Robert Conn | EurekAlert!
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