A new genetic test will help identify patients who may benefit from earlier or additional prostate cancer screening.
Similar to the role of BRCA 1 and 2 screening for prostate cancer risk, doctors can better help patients using a new test for the G84E mutation of the HOXB13 gene.
"For men with this gene mutation, especially younger men at higher risk, our goal is to extend lives as much as possible to their expected years of living through more proactive and better informed interventions," says Dr. Robert Nam, lead investigator and urological oncologist, genitourinary cancer care team, Sunnybrook's Odette Cancer Centre.
The study involved 4,068 men ages 40 to 94 years who underwent prostate biopsy to determine the presence of prostate cancer. The researchers identified and compared the frequency of HOXB13 mutations in 1,843 men subsequently diagnosed with the disease (case subjects), and 2,225 men who were disease-free (control subjects).
Findings show the G84E mutation was 7 times more frequent in men of Caucasian descent who were diagnosed with prostate cancer (case subjects), compared to control subjects. Men who had early onset of the disease (at 55 years of age or younger) and or who had a family history, had an even stronger association of the G84E mutation with a prostate cancer risk of 14 times more likelihood, with the frequency of the mutation at 1 in 250.
The findings were published July 9 in Journal of the National Cancer Institute.