Docs ID Prostate Cancer Gene Markers

Screening test for men at risk could be on market in 3 years
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2008 12:00 PM CST
Before genetic tests were available, early diagnosis was more difficult. Here, a Prostate 3.0 Tesla MRI Image shows the Region of Interest (ROI) localizing the patient's disease. A subsequent biopsy...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Seven genetic markers that increase a man's risk of developing prostate cancer have been identified, the Guardian reports. A test to screen for the affected genes should be ready within 3 years, British researchers say, leading to more effective early diagnosis and treatment of the disease. The newly identified genes, each of which raises the risk of prostate cancer by around 60%, may lead to new drug therapies.

Current screening done regularly in the US for men over 50 relies on family history and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, which Britain doesn't consider reliable enough to implement widely. "We are entering an era of very exciting medicine. This kind of genetic medicine will definitely happen and I definitely think it will deliver," said the lead doctor on the study.