Cancer cells under a microscope
Cancer cells under a microscope

Australian researchers have discovered why men with a family history of prostate cancer develop a more aggressive strain of the disease.

Researchers from Melbourne’s Monash University, in a joint research effort with a group of Australia’s most renowned cancer research institutes, revealed that the BRCA2 gene fault in conjunction with a family history of prostate cancer breeds an aggressive type of prostate cancer.


The research found that the molecular profile of prostate cancer in men with the BRCA2 fault is similar to that of advanced cancer patients, explaining why BRCA2 patients have a poor forecast right from diagnosis of the cancer.

Prostate cancers removed from patients with the BRCA2 gene shortly after diagnosis were similar to those removed from men without the gene but who had advanced cancer which had already spread throughout the body.

BRCA2 is a tumor suppressor gene that produces a protein which repairs DNA. A BRCA2 fault means that the person does not have the same ability to repair damage caused by cancer as others.

Gail Risbridger, the director of Monash Partners Comprehensive Cancer Consortium, said that men had to be aware if they had the BRCA2 fault to know their chances of increased risk.

“This study shows how different these tumours are from ‘regular’ tumours and emphasises the importance of men knowing if they have a family history of prostate, breast or ovarian cancer in their family and may carry the BRCA2 gene fault,” Risbridger said in a media release on Tuesday.

Renea Taylor, a lead author from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, said the research should prompt a discussion about whether men with the BRCA2 fault needed to be managed differently.

“As the tumours in men with the BRCA2 gene fault are so different from the ‘get-go’, our findings raise the question about whether these patients should be managed differently at diagnosis,” Taylor said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/


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