Gene discovered that plays important role in prostate cancer treatment

May 17, 2024  08:36

Finding out that cancer has spread is always unwelcome news. A study from Aarhus University has identified a gene that determines whether patients with prostate cancer develop metastases elsewhere in the body, Technology Networks reports.

The study, which was recently published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, used mice. By using CRISPR-Cas9, the researchers were able to create genetically engineered mouse models that made it possible to study the complex functions related to the development of prostate cancer.

“We’ve identified gene KMT2C, which is very important to the spread of prostate cancer. Loss of the KMT2C gene increases the risk of developing metastases. This can be relevant for both patients in the risk group and for understanding the disease,” says Associate Professor Martin K. Thomsen from the Department of Biomedicine.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in Denmark, and its incidence is continuously increasing. The disease progresses slowly, but metastatic prostate cancer is difficult to treat and has high mortality rates.

“This gene is a smoking gun in the development of the disease, and it could form the basis for screening patients in the future. If the gene mutates, then there’s a risk that the patient will develop metastases. In the long term, we can use this knowledge to operate earlier or to keep an extra close eye on the patient group,” says the researcher.

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