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Gene Defect May Offer Insights for Targeted Prostate Cancer Treatments

A particular gene found in many prostate cancer tumors may provide valuable insights in regard to treatment options. The gene, called CHD1, is mutated in up to 27 percent of all prostate cancer tumors. The loss of CHD1 has been shown to sensitize prostate cancer cells to particular drugs, including PARP inhibitors, a recent study found. The findings may pave the way for CHD1 to serve as a biomarker for more targeted cancer treatments using specific chemotherapy drugs.

Although not found in all prostate tumors, CHD1 loss may help clinicians better select targeted treatments for particular patients. The study found, for example, that CHD1 depleted cancer cells were hypersensitive to specific chemotherapy drugs. The findings have been so positive thus far that a clinical trial showed increased progression-free survival in some patients with metastatic prostate cancer following use of the typing to enable targeted treatments.

Before CHD1 might be used on a more widespread basis, more research needs to be performed. Even so, scientists are encouraged by the results to date and are already working to more readily translate findings for clinical development.

Prostate cancer impacts about 180,000 American men each year. This disease may present with several different subtypes ranging from low-risk to very high risk. While most cases of prostate cancer are deemed low risk, more aggressive forms of the disease do claim about 26,000 American lives each and every year. Being able to better target higher risk forms of prostate cancer with more effective treatments may help lower this number while providing men with more positive outcomes.

All men are at risk for prostate cancer, most especially as they age. Routine early screen tests are recommended for men starting between the age of 40 and 50, depending on a man’s personal risk factors for the disease. Risks include ethnicity, age and family history, among other factors. Men concerned about prostate cancer should speak with their doctors to assess their personal risks.