Largest Study Finds 11 Genes Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer: Implications for Screening and Gene Therapies

Scientists Discover 11 Genes Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer

A team of scientists has made a groundbreaking discovery in the field of prostate cancer research. In the largest study of its kind, they have identified nearly 11 genes that are closely associated with aggressive prostate cancer. The implications of this finding are immense, as it could lead to the development of more effective screening tools and targeted gene therapies.

The Study

Led by Dr. Borko Darst, an esteemed epidemiologist at the University of Southern California, the research team analyzed the genes of over 17,500 men with prostate cancer. These participants were from various countries including Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, and other European countries. Blood samples collected between January 2021 and March 2023 were examined in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the genetic factors at play.

Key Findings

Out of the large group of participants, a significant number of 9,185 men were found to have experienced life-threatening cases of aggressive prostate cancer. The study revealed two genes, BRCA2 and ATM, that displayed strong associations with severe cases. BRCA2 is a well-known gene associated with breast cancer risk, while ATM plays a crucial role in DNA repair. Harmful genetic variations in the BRCA2 gene were found in 2% of aggressive cancer cases, nearly tripling the risk. Similarly, ATM mutation defects were detected in 1.6% of aggressive cases, further doubling the risk.

Another gene, NBN, showed a higher prevalence of harmful genetic variations in metastatic cases, where the cancer had spread to other parts of the body. The researchers also identified eight other genes that had a slightly weaker association with aggressive prostate cancer. These genes include MSH2, XRCC2, MRE11A, TP53, RAD51D, BARD1, GEN1, and SLX4.

Implications and Future Research

Dr. Christopher Hyman, a renowned cancer researcher at the University of Southern California, emphasized that more work needs to be done to determine the significance of these genes in testing and treatment protocols. He highlighted the need to revisit current comprehensive genetic testing protocols and consider the inclusion of additional genes based on these findings. Genetic testing plays a crucial role in identifying problematic mutations and providing doctors with valuable time to intervene.

The results of this groundbreaking study were published in JAMA Oncology, a respected journal in the field. This discovery marks a significant milestone in the fight against aggressive prostate cancer.


The identification of these 11 genes linked to aggressive prostate cancer represents a major breakthrough in prostate cancer research. It has the potential to revolutionize cancer screening and treatment approaches. As further research is conducted, more targeted and personalized interventions can be developed to combat this life-threatening disease.

Source: Daily Mail

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