Genetic testing for prostate cancer is an exciting development

Genetic testing for prostate cancer is an exciting development


At a recent PCF conference in England Professor Ken Muir talked about the exciting development that is genetic testing.

The known risk of prostate cancer (PCa) for those men with a family history of PCa but it is not known what are the exact things passed on.

Genes that are common in PCa known as SNPs (snips) add a score of 5 points.

These all added in to the Sunnybrook calculator which is used in Riskman.

He went on to say that PSA is being superceded and may not be necessary in future.

The risk calculator is already changing and will continue to do so. The 10 markers have now been increased to 60 from a study which Prof Ros Eeles from the Royal Marsden Hospital is involved in.

Any cell in the body contains a complete set of genes.

You are born pre-disposed to your genes which is changing the whole debate.

One third of all the genetic markers have been found.

This can reduce by 30% the number of men needing to be screened for prostate cancer.

There is no more data left for us to extract anymore markers (for at least the next 10 years).

Attitues to using genetic markers are the way forward with targeted screening.

Those younger men with a high genetic risk should go in to the screening programme.

Professor Muir believes there is a unique opportunity to design a proper screening programme and get it right!!!!!

A baby could be genetically screened at birth which would cost around  £1,200  about the same as for personalised screening.

He says this may be a difficult concept for the NHS and it is probably 10 years off happening.

From the red sock point of view it is new and exciting news offering something positive for the way forward in diagnosing prostate cancer.

Extract from Prostate Matters

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