An international coalition of European researchers has identified a possible link between aggressive prostate cancers and the presence of a specific genetic mutation in men, raising the possibility for earlier detection and treatment.
Early Stage Detection
One of the most pressing issues with men’s health is that it has proven to be exceedingly difficult to detect aggressive strains of prostate cancer at an early stage. With the potential for tumor growth so high for these types of cancers, early detection is one of the most effective ways to manage such a condition, which has scientists urgently looking for new methods to do so in order to combat this disease.
However, new research published in the International Journal of Cancer has the potential to change the narrative when it comes to early detection. Scientists focused on examining the role the ANO7 gene plays in risk factors associated with aggressive prostate cancers, discovering that mutations to this gene are linked to higher risk and shorter survival rates.
It’s In Your Genes
The ANO7 gene is prostate-specific, which means that it has a biological role in how the prostate operates. The researchers found that there were two specific mutations to this gene that were not only associated with aggressive prostate cancers but that is thought to increase the gene’s activity in the first place, raising possible further questions about the exact mechanics of ANO7, many of which are still a mystery to modern medicine.
This research is still in its early stages and is only limited to white Europeans; additional research with larger, multicultural sample sizes will be required in the future. The implications for this new research are clear, however; genetic screening for these particular mutations could serve as an early warning system in men who have yet to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, allowing these patients and their doctors to begin monitoring early in an attempt to curtail the worst effects of aggressive cancer.