Scientists have discovered a new type of prostate cancer that affects 15 percent of patients with the disease, the New York Daily News reported. The finding could help doctors tailor treatments in the future, according to the researchers.
In the study, researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College, the Broad Institute of MIT, Harvard and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston found novel mutations in the “S-Pop” gene in the body may lead to a build-up of proteins that drive tumor growth.
The researchers said the findings could be a ‘breakthrough’ for oncologists.
“We have very limited information available to us now on the particular biology of the tumor that prostate cancer patients have, and how best to treat that cancer,” researcher Dr. Christopher Barbieri from Weill Cornell told the New York Daily News. “But given the finding that SPOP mutations form a distinct kind of cancer — and if you low-ball the incidence at about 10 percent of all tumors — that means every year 25,000 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with tumors that have this mutation.”
“That is a large number,” Barbieri said. “Knowing what these mutations mean may give us huge clues about how the patient’s cancer will progress and how they might be best treated in the future.”
The study was published Sunday in the journal Nature Genetics.