Recent research has identified lots of genetic changes in men with prostate cancer. We now need to figure out which of these are the most important and will increase the risk of a man developing aggressive prostate cancer. The researchers have already carried out an experiment to identify mutations associated with aggressive disease in an animal model. They will compare this list to the list of mutations known to happen in men with prostate cancer and then check that the mutations they have selected are capable of driving prostate cancer to a more aggressive stage. Mutations in the genes identified could then be developed as biomarkers that would be able to predict how aggressive an individual’s cancer will be.

Progress so far (Year 2 of 3)
The team analysed prostate tumours from mice to identify genetic changes that they have in common. They have since carried out further studies to validate the genetic changes they identified. In particular they are investigating one of these, known as SOX9, which could be used as a marker of aggressive disease.

Researcher - Dr Amanda Swain
Institution - Institute of Cancer Research
Grant award - £220,818
Reference - PG13-019

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