Are Researchers Closer to Diagnosing Aggressive Prostate Cancer at an Early Stage?
Posted: Monday, October 15, 2018
Although there’s still no way to diagnose aggressive prostate cancer at an early stage, a team of Scandinavian researchers may have taken a step in the right direction. In a study published in the International Journal of Cancer, lead author Johanna Schleutker, PhD, of the University of Turku, Finland, and colleagues reported that ANO7 is a possible prostate cancer susceptibility gene.
“One of the current biggest unmet needs in prostate cancer care is being able to diagnose aggressive cancers at an early stage,” said Professor Schleutker in a University of Turku press release. “Genetic testing for ANO7 could help identify these patients sooner and may bring new opportunities for precision oncology in prostate cancer.”
In a search for genetic mutations associated with the disease, the researchers analyzed the DNA of 1,769 patients with prostate cancer and 1,711 healthy men. They identified two pathogenic variants of ANO7 that could be used in testing. Their data showed one mutation (high AN07 expression) was linked to poor survival, and the other mutation correlated with an increased risk of developing prostate cancer as well as the severity of the disease.
According to the authors, AN07 belongs to the anoctamin family of membrane proteins and is specifically expressed in the prostate. They believe their findings “should spur further research to elucidate the regulatory networks of AN07.”