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Genetic risk key to prostate screening - study

Monday December 23rd, 2019

A successful prostate screening programme could be targeted at men with high genetic risk, according to a new analysis.

Screening would involve nearly half of men aged between 55 and 69, according to researchers at University College London, UK.

This would minimise the risk of unnecessary treatment for harmless tumours and prevent deaths from prostate cancer, the researchers say.

The men involved in the screening programme would have a risk of between 4% and 7% of developing the disease within ten years. This would prevent 15% of prostate cancer deaths, the researchers report in PLOS Medicine.

The analysis suggests that men might have to undergo genetic testing before joining a screening programme.

Researcher Professor Nora Pashayan said: “Prostate cancer is a leading cause of death from cancer in men in the UK, but screening is not performed because the harm of overdiagnosis is thought to outweigh the benefits.

“Our study shows that targeted screening can reduce unnecessary diagnoses while helping to prevent people dying from the disease by enabling earlier detection.”

Polygenic Risk-Tailored Screening for Prostate Cancer: A Benefit-Harm and Cost-Effectiveness Modelling Study. PLOS Medicine 20 December 2019

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002998

Tags: Cancer | Genetics | Men's Health | UK News

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