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Men's Health

Researchers Identify New Prostate Cancer Risk Factors

Researchers have identified dozens of new genetic factors linked with increased risk of prostate cancer, and testing for them can identify men with a risk of the disease that’s almost six times higher than average.

With the latest discovery of 23 factors, the number of common genetic variants linked to prostate cancer rises to 100.

In uncovering these new factors, scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research, London, and in Cambridge, UK, as well as researchers from the University of Southern California, looked for genetic variants in almost 90,000 men. The study combined analysis of men with European, African, Japanese and Latino ancestry.

To increase the chances of accurate results, roughly half the subjects had prostate cancer, while the remainder did not.

Overall, the investigators found that looking at the 100 variants revealed 10 percent of men of European ancestry who have a risk almost 2.9 times as high as the population average. They also said that the variants can identify the 1 percent of European men whose risk is 5.7 times higher than the general population.

Additionally, the analysis revealed that European men had 16 of the newly discovered genetic factors, while men of mixed heritage had seven.

A new clinical trial called BARCODE will investigator whether knowledge of the genetic markers can help improve currently available tests for prostate cancer.

The results were published in the journal Nature Genetics.

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