Faulty genes can cause testicular cancer

Scientists has pinpointed genes behind testicular cancer for the first time. That invention has paved the way for a test to identify those at high risk of developing this disease. Researchers already had proved that men with close relative with cancer are more likely to develop it themselves. This is the first time rogue genes have been identified.

The breakthrough will hasten the development of a screening programme for those whose father, brother or sons have been struck by the disease & that could improve rates of early detection and prevention. Rates of the cancer have risen dramatically in recent years but it is 99 % curable if caught early.

The British researchers compared the genes of more than 700 testicular cancer patients with the DNA of healthy men. This flagged up three rogue genes, with the most vicious raising the risk of the disease by as much as three-fold. Inheriting all three quadruples the risk of testicular cancer.

Scientists hope to identify the bulk of the genes behind testicular cancer within three years which will open the door to the testing of men at risk & to the development of new drugs. By understanding the biology of this disease they hope to improve treatment options.

"By combining these genetic risk factors with other known risk factors it may be possible to in future identify men who are at high risk of developing testicular cancer, particularly those who have a brother or father already affected by the disease," said Researcher Professor Mike Stratton , of the Institute of Cancer Research in London.

"While more than 95 % of testicular cancer patients are successfully treated, finding genes that increase the risk of this cancer is important. It tells us more about its basic biology and presents new opportunities to prevent, diagnose & treat the disease in those men most at risk aged under 50," said Ed Yong, of Cancer Research.


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