Researchers find first inherited prostate cancer genetic mutation in African-American men

Mar 10, 2010

Shahriar Koochekpour, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Genetics at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, led research that has discovered, for the first time, a genetic mutation in African-American men with a family history of prostate cancer who are at increased risk for the disease.

Dr. Koochekpour, who is also a member of the LSUHSC Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, identified an inheritable genetic defect in the receptor for the male hormone, androgen (testosterone), that may contribute to the development of prostate cancer and its progression. Scientific reports linking inheritable androgen receptor mutations to prostate cancer in Caucasians are rare, and this is the first one that focuses on the African-American population. The study is available in the advance online publication of the Nature Publishing Group's Asian Journal of Andrology.

Dr. Koochekpour and his laboratory discovered this genetic change by testing DNA extracted from of African-American and Caucasian men from Louisiana who had a proven medical history of prostate cancer in their families.

"We detected this mutation only in African-American men with prostate cancer," notes Dr. Koochekpour. "We found it in the cell's androgen receptor (AR), a protein which interacts and responds to male sex hormones. This protein is profoundly involved in prostate and its progression to an advanced metastatic, incurable stage. We believe that this mutation increases the risk of the development and progression of prostate cancer, in part by altering the receptor's DNA-binding ability, and by regulating the activities of other genes and proteins involved in the growth and aggressive behavior of tumors."

African-American men have a higher incidence and death rate from prostate cancer, as well as clinically more aggressive disease than Caucasians. According to the American Cancer Society's most current data for 2009-2010, prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among American men. Between 2001 and 2005, the prostate cancer incidence rate was 59% higher in African-American men. African-American men also have the highest mortality rate for prostate cancer of any racial or ethnic group in the US. The death rate for prostate cancer is 2.4 times higher in African-American men than white men in the US.

"We are hopeful that this discovery will eventually lead to a simple genetic test for prostate cancer for African-American men who are at high risk for developing prostate cancer, allowing genetic counselling and earlier, potentially life-saving treatment" said Dr. Koochekpour.

Explore further: Taking the guesswork out of cancer therapy

Provided by Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Prostate cancer: Major risk for blacks

Aug 22, 2006

U.S. researchers have identified a DNA segment on chromosome 8 that is a major risk factor for prostate cancer, especially in African-American men.

Recommended for you

Taking the guesswork out of cancer therapy

52 minutes ago

Researchers and doctors at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) have co-developed the first molecular test ...

Brain tumour cells found circulating in blood

1 hour ago

(Medical Xpress)—German scientists have discovered rogue brain tumour cells in patient blood samples, challenging the idea that this type of cancer doesn't generally spread beyond the brain.

International charge on new radiation treatment for cancer

2 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Imagine a targeted radiation therapy for cancer that could pinpoint and blast away tumors more effectively than traditional methods, with fewer side effects and less damage to surrounding tissues and organs.

Computer model reveals cancer's energy source

4 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—A computer model study reveals – for the first time – details of an energy-creating process vital and unique to cancer cells. The research holds promise for new interventions and for ...

User comments : 0