Novel genetic markers discovered for testicular cancer
British scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research discovered four novel genetic markers that are associated with an elevated risk of testicular cancer. That is written in Nature Communications. Including these four, a total of 25 markers have been discovered, allowing for an easier identification of men with an elevated risk of testicular cancer.
The sample size makes this the most elaborate study on the genetic background of testicular cancer until now. By comparing the DNA of 6,059 testicular cancer patients to the DNA of 19,094 healthy men, the researchers discovered four novel genetic markers for this type of cancer. In total, 25 genetic markers have been found, allowing for a high predictive value – men in the top one per cent of genetic risk had a five per cent lifetime risk of developing testicular cancer. That is a risk more than ten times higher than that of the average man.
According to professor Paul Workman, chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research, this discovery “adds detail to the emerging picture of testicular cancer as a strongly heritable disease.” In the future, the authors hope for more research on the genetic variation in testicular cancer, so that tests can be developed to identify those at most risk. That way, measures can be offered before the disease manifests itself. Workman: “Genetic screening in selected groups of men, for instance first-degree relatives of patients, could direct the discovery of new, more targeted treatments.”
The research was funded by the Institute of Cancer Research, Cancer Research UK and the Movember Foundation, a charity known for the similar campaign. During Movember, men draw attention for ‘manly’ health issues, including testicular cancer. They do so by not shaving their moustaches during November and collecting money for research.
Source: Nature Communications, Institute of Cancer Research
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