Genetic code for prostate cancer unravelled

10 February 2011

Scientists have unravelled the genetic code for prostate cancer and believe the breakthrough could herald a number of new cancer diagnosis and treatment options for patients.

The deciphering of the genetic material has been lauded as a breakthrough in cancer research and offers clinicians a picture of the fundamental causes of the disease.

In the future, it is hoped that the understanding of the genetics behind cancer will allow for far more personalised treatment.

Dr Michael Berger, a scientist working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, in the US, sequenced the genomes of seven different variants of prostate cancer.

"This is a transforming moment in understanding the underlying biology of prostate cancer," the researcher said.

He added: "It offers the potential of new targets for treatment and earlier diagnosis of the more aggressive strains of the disease."

In the UK, around 37,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year.

1 Berger, Dr Michael. "The genomic complexity of primary human prostate cancer". Nature. Thursday, February 10th 2011.

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