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Biotech Science

Genetic Marker For Aggressive Prostate Cancer 36

Posted by kdawson
from the like-a-racehorse dept.
hairygenes writes "Northwestern University researchers have found a genetic marker associated with aggressive forms of prostate cancer. Previously characterized mutations in markers at 8q24 are associated with a broader population than previously reported and with much more aggressive tumors. deCODE genetics, who originally characterized these mutations, noted a 60% increase in risk of prostate cancer, but this study finds more concrete linkage to inheritance and disease severity."
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Genetic Marker For Aggressive Prostate Cancer

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  • by User 956 (568564) on Monday May 21, 2007 @02:00AM (#19205251) Homepage
    Northwestern University researchers have found a genetic marker associated with aggressive forms of prostate cancer. Previously characterized mutations in markers at 8q24 are associated with a broader population than previously reported and with much more aggressive tumors.

    You see, that's interesting, because I had always assumed it had some relation to markers at g04t53.
    • by eclectro (227083)
      You see, that's interesting, because I had always assumed it had some relation to markers at g04t53

      You are thinking of the marker responsible for the onset of sudden eye distress, which often causes the gene at location 09f9 to switch on and offer some relief.

  • ...so I hope they allow health benefits to cover prostate cancer testing for those at risk, instead of using the genetic marker to class it as a pre-existing condition or to refuse to insure you.

    I'm sick and tired of the medical "profession". It has a lot in common with the oldest profession.
    • >I'm sick and tired of the medical "profession". It has a lot in common with the oldest profession.

      Hey, what a coincidence! I'm sick and tired of people who lump nurses and doctors into the same broad category with their retarded insurance providers! They have a lot in common with people who lump everyone with a last name of "Yousef" into the same broad category with "terroristic bad-guy evildoers".

      But, hey, next time you visit the ER with a life-threatening emergency, be sure to wear your T-shirt with
      • by smchris (464899)
        HMMMMM. Well, yes. That _is_ a noble sentiment. But, just for the sake of argument, can you tell us a little something about the history of the AMA positions on socialized medicine vs. corporatized medicine?
         
      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by syousef (465911)
        And hey I'm sick of asshole doctors with a bigger gut than me literally telling me and I quote "You look pregant". Or the 3 different doctors that fucking didn't check the contraindications on the medication they were giving and almost fritzed my fiancee's brain. She went to them having the occassional petite mal seizure, and came away on meds that cause suicidal tendancies if you come off too quickly and that were giving her 2 grand mal seizures a day at the end. Or doctors that don't know a dislocated sho
    • That's dumb (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Moraelin (679338)
      That's so dumb, I don't even know where to begin.

      1. The doctors and nurses are the ones who treat you. None of them would refuse to treat you because of a pre-existing condition, or because your being dumb is what got you there in the first place. I've yet to hear about anyone working in the ER turning away a stroke patient because it was some pre-existing condition, or someone with a cracked skull because, hey, they shouldn't have climbed on the house in the first place.

      2. Then there are the guys who have
      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by syousef (465911)
        You know nothing about what I have or haven't experienced of the medical profession. You're free and liberal with those insults, despite not even knowing what country I'm from, what the setup is here, or what treatment I've seen given by doctors. If you care, you can go look at my other replies or you can go fuck yourself. Either way I don't care. But hey when you're spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to get treated DESPITE having medical insurance and you still can't get decent care, lets see how yo
        • You know nothing about what I have or haven't experienced of the medical profession. You're free and liberal with those insults, despite not even knowing what country I'm from, what the setup is here, or what treatment I've seen given by doctors. If you care, you can go look at my other replies or you can go fuck yourself. Either way I don't care. But hey when you're spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to get treated DESPITE having medical insurance and you still can't get decent care, lets see how yo

          • by syousef (465911)
            What an incoherent childish rant.

            Your inability to realise that both doctors and medical insurers are part of the same system bemuses me. I haven't even written enough for you to assess what I do and don't know about the industry. (Hell we haven't even narrowed it down to a country to argue about)

            Your inability to make an argument without hurling insults amuses me. (Heck your inability to make an argument without using underscores around key words for emphasis is funny enough)

            Your supposition that anything
      • by syousef (465911)
        And some retared fool has modded you insightful. You're insightful because you're arguing that it's too hard to have a medical system that provides actual care for the ill, and rant about communism and capitalism....and _I'm_ the lemming?
        • And some retared fool has modded you insightful. You're insightful because you're arguing that it's too hard to have a medical system that provides actual care for the ill, and rant about communism and capitalism....and _I'm_ the lemming?

          Heh. If the previous use of "lemming" was just a mild euphemism, the above tantrum above moderation earns the "lemming" title fair and square, beyond all reasonable doubt.

          Why _do_ you care that much about moderation? It just says that one other person thought the same. Big

          • by syousef (465911)
            I care about moderation because it speaks volumes for the sort of people who now read and post at /. Your failure to understand the importance of this really makes me wonder what you've got between your ears. Attitudes, and "fashion" as you put it affect everyone. Take a certain operating system we keep hearing about. If it were not popular and fasionable (despite not always performing best) it wouldn't matter. People's opinions matter in any social group. You can bandy about terms like SFV and groupthink a
            • 1. You amuse me. You talk about stupidity, yet you prove that _you_ are still too stupid to even understand what system I'm supporting there and what I'm not.

              Here, lemme spare your little monkey brain the effort: I _don't_ support the kind of insurance you have to live with. I _do_ think that doctors have nothing to do with that insurance system.

              Also, if I were to get diagnosed with just about anything, I _can_ get medical care, because I live in one of those countries where everyone pays for everyone else.
              • by syousef (465911)
                1. Yes how about I magically change the medical care system in my government. After all it only takes one lemming with a monkey brain.

                2. How is someone responsible for a disability they're born with or for an accident or illness that befalls them through no fault of their own? Your refusal to accept that people don't have complete control for things that happen to them is just funny.

                3. Stop fucking quoting scientists at me. I actually happen to have a Masters in Astronomy and did a history subject for half
  • by Budenny (888916) on Monday May 21, 2007 @04:11AM (#19205911)
    Most of us are probably too young for it to be a personal concern, but it certainly is one for our fathers. This will be a great advance if confirmed and widely used.

    The problem is the side effects of current treatments. They are fairly dire, including impotence and incontinence as very common (and probably underreported) side effects of surgery. Because most PCs are not aggressive, the main consequence of intensive screening programs is that we detect more non-aggressive cases, we then needlessly operate, and we thus needlessly produce unpleasant side effects in thousands of men who would have died with, but not of, non-aggressive PC. But, there was no way to know.

    So if you could have some way of only treating those we really need to treat, it would have major quality of life implications for a lot of men.

    The other question is, what the right treatment is. This is very personal and depends on risks and attitudes to it. It seems from a review of the literature by an amateur, that the treatment which offers the best risk reward ratio is Intermitten Hormone suppression. It is going to be unpleasant, but its temporary. Its not guaranteed to work - but neither is surgery, the recurrence rate is not trivial.

    Biopsy is also not either totally reliable or particularly safe in itself. You can miss the tumour, if its small, if there is one. It is also possible that when biopsy is done under general anesthetic, the anesthetic itself can produce total urinary blockage in a man with benign enlargement.

    All in all this is a very messy illness and its great that some real progress in diagnosis is being made.
  • Saw Palmetto [google.com]
    • Saw Palmetto

      Here are my two words:

      Different condition

      As in "Saw Palmetto is used to treat prostate enlargement not prostate cancer ". They aren't the same.
  • by vtcodger (957785) on Monday May 21, 2007 @07:26AM (#19206845)
    Scanning through the comments already posted, I see some of the usual strengths and weaknesses of Slashdot postings. the weaknesses being mostly the Post_Fast_Or_No_One_Will_Read_It syndrome.

    • This article is about AGRESSIVE prostate cancer which is relatively rare.

    • Ordinary prostate cancer is very common and often proceeds so slowly that it is often left untreated in older patients. It is often said that men die WITH prostate cancer, not OF prostate cancer. True of the general population. Not true of those with the agressive form.

    • There is a perfectly OK and inexpensive blood test for prostate cancer that is generally covered by insurance. It's biggest deficiency is a large number of false positives.

    • There are three treatments for prostate cancer -- Surgery which can cause impotence and other nasty problems. Chemical therapy which is tough on the body. (X)Radiation which leads to some temporary discomfort but is not otherwise even especially unpleasant.

    • Hormone (Testosterone) supression is also used as a therapy, generally in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation. The idea is that the therapy weakens the cancer cells and the lack of Testosterone finishes them off.

    • The principle utility of this discovery -- if it leads to a test -- is that it will help in screening patients who need immediate treatment for their prostate cancer from those where it is reasonable to wait and see how fast the cancer progresses. That's important because a large number of elderly men have prostate cancer (50% is a common estimate) and there aren't close to enough resources to treat them all. Nor, probably, is there any need to do so.
    • The principle utility of this discovery -- if it leads to a test -- is that it will help in screening patients who need immediate treatment for their prostate cancer from those where it is reasonable to wait and see how fast the cancer progresses. That's important because a large number of elderly men have prostate cancer (50% is a common estimate) and there aren't close to enough resources to treat them all. Nor, probably, is there any need to do so.

      I went to a prostate cancer research conference, and over lunch, I asked one of the investigators, "You're working on this gene that only affects 5% of men with prostate cancer. What good is that? How does that help the other 95%?"

      He said, when we find that gene that causes prostate cancer in 5% of the men, we can go back and find the protein that the gene produces, and find all the other proteins that it interacts with. It often turns out that the other 95% of cancers involve defects in the other proteins

    • by Budenny (888916)
      The issue with hormone suppression is that it works for a while only. What happens is, the cancer grows in the presence of androgen, which it requires. You shut off androgen (it used to be done in the past either by surgical castration or by giving estrogen), and it stops growing and shrinks. The psa level then falls. You might think great. Unpleasant, but you live.

      Wrong. After some period of time it becomes hormone refractory. That is, it accommodates to the absence of androgen and resumes its growt
  • Yet another step towards a Gattaca future.
  • It's good to see that prostate examinations are finally going digital!

A motion to adjourn is always in order.

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