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5 Genes Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Study Could Lead to Test That Determines Which Patients Need Aggressive Treatment

Reducing Overtreatment for Prostate Cancer

Patients who carried four or all five of the SNPs had a 50% higher risk of dying from their cancer than patients who had two or fewer of the SNP variants.

The next step is to confirm the findings in different groups of patients and to determine if these five SNPs or any of the other identified gene variants are useful for predicting death from prostate cancer, Stanford says.

The study was published online today and will appear in the September issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

Phelps says finding better tests to identify patients who will benefit from therapy is an important goal for reducing the harms from prostate cancer overtreatment, along with finding more effective targeted therapies that do not have life-altering side effects.

"There has been an explosion of research examining targeted cancer therapies, and while we haven't struck pay dirt in prostate cancer yet, I think it's just a matter of time," he says.

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