Gene linked to drug-resistant testicular cancer

22 January 2015

A genome-sequencing research project has found a link between a gene mutation and drug-resistant testicular cancer.

The project, based at The Institute of Cancer Research in London, was closely examining the makeup of testicular germ cell tumours, which are the most common form of testicular cancer in young men.

Whole-exome sequencing was used to collect data from 42 samples taken from testicular cancer patients. The team discovered that a defect in the DNA repair gene XRCC2 in two patients whose cancers had not responded to platinum-based chemotherapy, and were able to establish a link between the two.

This is potentially a major breakthrough, as resistance to platinum-based chemotherapy is associated with poor long-term prospects for sufferers.

Clare Turnbull, one of the study’s lead authors, said: "We now need additional studies with a larger number of patients, focusing in particular on platinum-resistant tumours, to help our discoveries lead to new options for those unlucky men whose cancer progresses in spite of the best available treatments."
The research has been published in Nature Communications.

Posted by ​Phillip Briggs 

 

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