Washington, Jan 18 : Men vulnerable to prostate cancer will soon be identifiable through a simple DNA test.
The finding was based on a study, led by Professor Henrik Gronberg at Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet, which genetically analysed approximately 4,800 men, of whom 3,000 had prostate cancer and 1,800 had no prostate cancer diagnosis.
The research shows that men who carry four or more risk variants run a four to five times greater risk of developing prostate cancer.
This risk is increased even more if they also had close relatives with the disease. "In the near future, it will be possible to combine PSA tests with simple genetic tests. This means that fewer men will have to undergo unnecessary biopsies and that more prostate cancer diagnoses can be made," Gronberg said.
According to the researchers, this is the first time that anyone has been able to demonstrate how a combination of genes affect the risk of developing the disease.
"For the first time, this type of study has made it possible to develop a clinically viable gene test," Gronberg said.
The study is published in The New England Journal of Medicine.