University of MichiganProstate cancer is known to become more frequent in younger men and it is sturdier in these men. A new study was conducted at the University Of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center who revealed that prostate cancer may be detected at an early stage with the help of a series of genetic mutations. The experts assume that genetics and traditional screening methods may help predict the risk of prostate cancer in young men.

The experts examined 14 different gene mutations in 754 men who were aged 56 and below and specifically affected with prostate cancer. They were enlisted in the Prostate Cancer Genetics Project at U-M Researchers. Scientists also evaluated 1,163 older men with prostate cancer and 2713 men without cancer.

“This is a potential opportunity to combine PSA testing with genetic markers to determine who has significant prostate cancer. It could be a combination of age and family history that could help us determine who should be tested with PSA and a panel of genetic markers,” says study author Kathleen Cooney, M.D., Frances and Victor Ginsberg Professor of Hematology/Oncology and division chief of hematology/oncology at the U-M Medical School.

This study identified that the younger men carried more of these genetic mutations that could help detect prostate cancer. It was found that 30 percent of the younger men had vigorous prostate cancer and 41 percent of them had first-degree relation with prostate cancer.

“Early onset prostate cancer has a strong genetic component, which we saw in this study. The genetic variants we looked at here are likely not the best indicators. Our next step is to look more widely for common genetic variants among this group of men,” Cooney says.

According to the American Cancer Society 192,280 Americans will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year and that 27,360 people will die due to it experts continue to include men in this study and will next identify the genome of a larger population of men with early occurrence of prostate cancer. This was mainly done to find common mutations that may be linked to this disease.

These findings were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting on June 4-8, 2010, Chicago.