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Researchers Find Genetic Link to Prostate Cancer

Researchers Find Genetic Link to Prostate Cancer

Wake Forest University School of Medicine researcher Jianfeng Xu and his team, in collaboration with researchers at Johns Hopkins University, looked at variations in a gene that controls the body's response to carcinogens in the environment as well as hormones natural to the body.

Scientists believe their findings may hold important clues in understanding what environmental factors may trigger the development of prostate cancer. The researchers analysed a gene called CYPIBI, which is thought to play an important role in the development of cancer. CYPIBI normally plays a dual role in the body and therefore has been suggested to both cause and prevent cancer. It helps the body eliminate environmental chemicals that can cause cancer but also can activate some hormones, turning them into cancer-causing agents.

Tiny variations in the gene may alter its function, say the researchers, with some increasing the cancer-causing effects of the gene and others enhancing its ability to prevent cancer. The team looked separately at 13 variations in CYPIBI and polymorphisms commonly found in Caucasian male populations. They found that one cluster of variations was more common in men with prostate cancer who had no family history of the disease, while another combination appeared more frequently in men who did not have the disease.

This information will help scientists better understand how changes in the gene alter its dual functions in the body, and allow them to identify people at high risk and advise them on ways to prevent the disease.

The results of the study will be published in the British Journal of Cancer., Source: Wake Forest University School of Medicine


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