All Title Author
Keywords Abstract


Prostate cancer genomics: can we distinguish between indolent and fatal disease using genetic markers?

DOI: 10.1186/gm166

Full-Text   Cite this paper   Add to My Lib

Abstract:

Prostate cancer constitutes a major health burden, being the most common non-cutaneous malignancy among men in developed countries. In 2007, almost 800,000 new cases of prostate cancer and 250,000 deaths from this disease were estimated to have occurred worldwide [1]. The highest incidence of prostate cancer is observed in the USA, with 192,280 new cases and 27,360 deaths expected in 2009, thereby being the second most common cause of cancer-related death [2]. Prostate cancer is a heterogeneous disease and its natural history is not completely understood. Early autopsy studies have shown a high prevalence of clinically undetected prostate cancer at time of death. In the USA, more than one in three men over 50 years of age had histologic evidence of prostate cancer at autopsy and this prevalence was observed to increase with age, with more than 67% of men aged over 80 years having prostate cancer at time of death [3]. These findings indicate that a high proportion of prostate tumors are clinically insignificant and will never lead to a lethal outcome. Furthermore, the introduction and widespread application of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing has led to increased detection of early-stage, low-volume, non-palpable tumors. This has in turn raised concerns of increased overdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment of indolent disease [4,5]. To this end, new strategies to help clinicians distinguish between lethal and indolent prostate cancer are urgently needed. Prostate cancer is one of the most heritable cancers in men and recent studies have revealed numerous genetic variants associated with this disease. This review will give an overview of the current knowledge of prostate cancer genetics, with a special focus on the ability of genetic variants to predict more aggressive forms.A family history of prostate cancer is one of the strongest risk factors, and twin studies suggest that as much as 42% of the disease risk is explained by heritable factors [6]. Attempts to

Full-Text

comments powered by Disqus