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New gene test to predict prostate cancer risk

Researchers at Queen Mary, University of London, are developing a genetic test which can predict how aggressive prostate cancer is, thereby saving several men with low risk tumours from unnecessary surgery.

Researchers have found out that men with high levels of cell cycle progression (CCP) genes are more likely to have aggressive prostate cancer tumours.

In a study involving 703 men with prostate cancer, researchers found that men with highest levels of CCP genes were three times more likely to have fatal form of prostate cancer.

Also, in patients who had surgery to remove their prostate, those who had highest levels of CCP genes were 70% more likely to have a recurrence of prostate cancer.

Lead researcher Jack Cuzick said since CCP genes are expressed at higher levels in actively growing cells, it is possible to measure the growth rate and inherent aggressiveness of the tumour through the new test.