DNA clues to prostate cancer

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DNA on plate – iStock
DNA on plate – iStock
DNA changes linked to many cases of prostate cancer have been identified by US researchers, the Boston Globe reported.

These DNA changes are common in the American population and, together, can increase the risk of prostate cancer by more than five times, said the study in the journal Nature Genetics.

The scientists said these DNA changes may underlie up to two-thirds of prostate cancer cases in black Americans and one-third of cases in whites, the Globe reported.

The finding could eventually lead to improved methods of screening and treating prostate cancer, which is the second leading cause of death among American men.

Interestingly, all these changes are in so-called junk DNA, which contain no genes and have no known biological function. It's possible that the scientists may have uncovered a new mechanism behind this and other forms of cancer, the Globe reported. – (HealthDayNews)

April 2007

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