Wednesday January 23, 2019

A tool which can predict cancer

Researchers develop a tool to predict cancer in men

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Researchers developed a tool which can predict cancer in men. Pixabay
Researchers developed a tool which can predict cancer in men. Pixabay
  • A tool has been developed for predicting the onset of prostate cancer in men.
  • Score from a PSA test is very versatile and can be applied to many age related diseases.
  • This study was published in journal BMJ.

A genetic prognostic tool has been developed by a team of researchers that may help in predicting the age of onset of prostate cancer in men.

Polygenic hazard score is intended to inform men whether to undergo Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test. The score can be calculated at any time since an individual’s genotype does not change.

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How the score works

The score involves survival analysis to estimate the effect of individual genomes for small variations, called single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), on age at diagnosis of aggressive prostate cancer.

This is especially critical for men at risk of developing prostate cancer at a very young age before standard guidelines recommend consideration of screening.

Prostrate cancer is one of the most common in men. Pixabay
Prostate cancer is one of the most common in men. Pixabay

“The polygenic hazard score is very versatile and can be applied to many age-related diseases,” said Chun Chieh Fan, from the University of California – San Diego.

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“In this case, the polygenic hazard score of prostate cancer captures the age variations of aggressive prostate cancer.”

The score has already been proven to be very useful in predicting the age of onset for Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers said.

Other than prostate cancer, lung cancer is most common amongst men. Pixabay
Other than prostate cancer, lung cancer is most common amongst men. Pixabay

How it was done

When men with a high polygenic hazard score were compared to those with average polygenic hazard score, their risk of aggressive prostate cancer was at least 2.9 times greater, the researchers said, adding that this kind of genetic risk stratification is a step toward individualised medicine.

Further, PSA tests are much more predictive of aggressive prostate cancer in men with high polygenic hazard score than in those with low polygenic hazard score. This suggests that the score can help physicians determine whether to order a PSA test for a given patient.

The study was published in journal BMJ. (IANS)

Next Story

Risk Of Suicide Quadruples With Cancer: Study

The results could be used to help identify patients who may be at a higher risk for suicide and help health care providers tailor their treatments accordingly.

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A Family In Delhi Commits Suicide To Thank God: Police Reports
While the risk of suicide decreases five years after a diagnosis, the risk remains high for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma and testicular cancer.

People with cancer are over four times more likely to commit suicide than people without the deadly disease, finds a study.

According to researchers from the Penn State Cancer Institute in Pennsylvania, while a lot of progress has been made in treating cancer, not as much research has been put into how cancer affects patients mentally and emotionally.

“Even though cancer is one of the leading causes of death, most cancer patients do not die from cancer, the patients usually die of another cause,” said Nicholas Zaorsky, radiation oncologist at the Penn State Cancer Institute.

“There are multiple competing risks for death, and one of them is suicide. Distress and depression can arise from cancer diagnosis, treatment, financial stress, and other causes. Ultimately, distress and depression may lead to suicide. Our goal was to quantify the risk of suicide among cancer patients,” he added.

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The study, published in the Nature Communications journal, the team compared the risk of suicide in eight million patients who had been diagnosed with cancer and those without.

They found that among people with cancer, males, patients who were diagnosed at a younger age, patients with lung, head, neck and testicular cancer, and lymphomas were more likely to commit suicide.

While the risk of suicide decreases five years after a diagnosis, the risk remains high for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma and testicular cancer.

“Treatments for some cancers — like leukemia and testicular cancer among adolescents and young adults, for example — can decrease a patient’s fertility, and that seems to be one of the risks for suicide in the long term,” Zaorsky said.

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“In contrast, elderly patients who are diagnosed with lung, prostate and head and neck cancers, are at an increased risk of suicide for the remainder of their life.”

The results could be used to help identify patients who may be at a higher risk for suicide and help health care providers tailor their treatments accordingly. (IANS)