Scientists Discover New Type of Prostate Cancer in Men

May 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer News

In New York and Boston, researchers have discovered a new type of or sub-type of prostate tumor. This tumor could be as a result of new kind of mutations that take place in the S-Pop gene.

This development is confirming the reports of some previous findings that there could be different types of prostate cancers. About 15% of men who have this cancer of the prostate could have been suffering from these novel mutations which tend to have features of accumulated proteins.

The implications of this discovery and how this could possibly affect present research on prostate cancer are detailed below:

Scientists in New York and Boston have discovered a new type of prostate cancer that afflicts 15% of patients with the disease — and it could help doctors tailor treatments.

The researchers identified novel mutations in the so-called “S-Pop” gene and suspect they lead to a dangerous accumulation of proteins that drive tumor growth.

“This study, and our prior findings, tells us that prostate cancer is not just one disease but several diseases,” said Dr. Mark Rubin, vice chair for experimental pathology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

“This opens the door to development of specialized diagnostic tools and treatments.”

The discovery, reported Sunday in the journal Nature Genetics, was a collaborative effort by Weill Cornell Medical College, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Dr. Christopher Barbieri, who worked on the study and treats prostate cancer at Weill Cornell, said the mutation could mark a breakthrough for oncologists.

“We have very limited information available to us now on the particular biology of the tumor that prostate cancer patients have, and how best to treat that cancer,” said Barbieri.

“But given the finding that SPOP mutations form a distinct kind of cancer — and if you low-ball the incidence at about 10% of all tumors — that means every year 25,000 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with tumors that have this mutation.

“That is a large number,” he added. “Knowing what these mutations mean may give us huge clues about how the patient’s cancer will progress and how they might be best treated in the future.”

After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. About one-sixth of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime; two-thirds when they are over 65.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind lung cancer, although most men do not die from it.

More than 2.5 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive today.

Rubin predicted that within a year, men will be able to get tested to see what kind of subtype of prostate cancer they have and then have tailor-made treatment. Source.

This discovery of a sub-type of prostate cancer is indeed interesting, as treatments can now be tailored towards the particular type or sub-type. If this becomes feasible, then there is no doubting the fact the prostate cancer can be treated more effectively.

Since there is not enough information for now to validate this finding, it becomes important for more investigations and a wider study be carried out to authenticate this research.

The end benefits of this research will include improved diagnostic method, tailored treatments, and extending the lives of millions of men that have been diagnosed with prostate cancer to date.

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