MONDAY, June 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A new genetic test can identify men most likely to develop prostate cancer, a new report contends.
According to the new study, the scientists identified 63 new genetic variants associated with increased risk of prostate cancer, and combined them with more than 100 previously identified variants to create the new test.
The test identifies the 1 percent of men who are at highest risk for prostate cancer. These men have a six times higher-than-average chance of developing the disease, the study authors said.
The investigators used a new DNA analysis -- called the Oncoarray -- to compare more than half a million single-letter changes in the DNA code of almost 80,000 men with prostate cancer, and more than 61,000 men without the disease.
"By looking at the DNA code of tens of thousands of men in more depth than ever before, we have uncovered vital new information about the genetic factors that can predispose someone to prostate cancer, and, crucially, we have shown that information from more than 150 genetic variants can now be combined to provide a readout of a man's inherited risk of prostate cancer," said study author Rosalind Eeles. She is a professor of oncogenetics at the Institute of Cancer Research in London.
"If we can tell from testing DNA how likely it is that a man will develop prostate cancer, the next step is to see if we can use that information to help prevent the disease," Eeles explained in an institute news release.
"We now hope to begin a small study in [doctors'] practices to establish whether genetic testing using a simple spit test could select high-risk men who might benefit from interventions to identify the disease earlier or even reduce their risk," Eeles said.
The study was published June 11 in the journal Nature Genetics.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on prostate cancer.