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 September 26, 2003
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Gene Linked to Prostate Cancer in Blacks
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(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A new study shows the gene MSR1 may play a role in the development of prostate cancer in black men.

Kathleen Cooney, M.D., from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, says, "African-American men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer in the world. The severity is higher and they tend to die more quickly after diagnosis. We don't know why this is, but part of the difficulty is that African-American men are underrepresented in most genetics studies."

In a new study, researchers compared DNA samples of more than 130 black men diagnosed with prostate cancer to those of 340 black men without prostate cancer. They identified and analyzed five similarities and five mutations found in the prostate cancer samples.

Results show MSR1, a rare germ-line gene, is associated with an increased prostate cancer risk in black men. This finding supports previous data, which showed MSR1 is linked to prostate cancer among white men.

Researchers say knowing what genes are involved in prostate cancer could help them identify which men are at highest risk. Having a known genetic risk factor could help doctors decide when more aggressive tests or therapies are necessary.

Researchers say more studies are needed to further investigate MSR1's role in contributing to prostate cancer. David Miller, M.D., from the University of Michigan Medical School, says, "Although our study was modest in size, the public health burden of prostate cancer in the African-American community warrants further attention to potential genetic risk factors."

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers a searchable archive of its medical reports written since 1995. To search, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/search/.

SOURCE: Cancer Research, 2003;63:3486-3489

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