Faulty Gene Doubles Risk of Prostate Cancer

Missing sections of CHEK2 material fail to alert body to DNA damage, study finds

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THURSDAY, Nov. 2, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Men who are missing sections of the CHEK2 kinase gene -- which programs production of a chemical that alerts the body to DNA damage -- are nearly twice as likely to develop prostate cancer as other men, a new study finds.

Researchers assessed 2,000 Polish men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1999 and 2005, and compared them to 5,500 healthy people.

The missing sections (exons 9 and 10) were noted in 15 (0.8 percent) of the prostate cancer patients and in 24 (0.4 percent) of the healthy people. In addition, the researchers noted the missing sections of the gene in four of the 249 men with a family history of prostate cancer.

The study authors calculated that the deletion of these sections of the gene nearly doubles risk of prostate cancer in general, and quadruples the risk in men with a family history of the disease.

This deletion may be fairly common among men from eastern Europe and the Balkans, the study authors added.

The research was published ahead of print in the Journal of Medical Genetics.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about prostate cancer.

SOURCE: Journal of Medical Genetics, news release, Oct. 31, 2006

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