BRCA2 Gene Mutation Associated with Aggressive Prostate Cancer in Men with Family History; Early on, These Patients Have Molecular Profile Similar to That of Those with Advanced Cancer

A landmark study, led by Monash University's Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) with the involvement of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, both in Australia, has revealed the reason why men with a family history of prostate cancer who also carry the BRCA2 gene fault have a more aggressive form of prostate cancer. The study, published online on January 9, 2017 in Nature Communications, involving a consortium of Melbourne and Toronto researchers and clinicians, reports the molecular profile of the prostate cancers in men with the BRCA2 fault is similar to the profile seen in patients with advanced cancer: explaining why - right from diagnosis - BRCA2 patients have a poor outcome. The international team of scientists, led by Professor Gail Risbridger and Dr. Renea Taylor from the BDI and Dr. Rob Bristow from the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada, in collaboration with clinicians from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, kConFab, Austin Health, and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre, worked to unlock the secrets of why prostate cancer in BRCA2 men behaves aggressively. The open-access article is titled “Germline BRCA2 Mutations Drive Prostate Cancers with Distinct Evolutionary Trajectories.” This study, part of a larger Victorian Cancer Agency-funded program of translational research, had previously reported that men who carried the BRCA2 gene fault were at a higher risk of having a more aggressive form of prostate cancer if a cell pathology known as IDCP (intraductal carcinoma of the prostate) was present; the IDCP cell pathology predicted these men were much more likely to have a poor clinical outcome.
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