Scientists’ new study reveals that there are five unique types of prostate cancer which could lead to more tailored, effective treatments.
At the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, scientists have been studying healthy as well as cancerous prostate tissue from over 250 men. Through this study, they have been able to identify five very distinct types of prostate cancer tumors, according to Bulletin Leader.
The five types each have a very specific set of characteristics and identifiable genetic fingerprint. With this focused, individual attention to each type, doctors are much more likely to be able to pinpoint which patients are more at risk of their tumors growing and spreading throughout their body more aggressively.
The data that came from the study was from analyzing the mortality rate for prostate cancer in England between the years of 2008 and 2010 which totaled 26,521 deaths.
In England, the risk of dying from prostate cancer is calculated to be estimate at 1 in 24 for white men, 1 in 12 for black men and 1 in 44 for Asian men.
The researchers made it clear that each individual person’s risk is unique to them and will vary dependent upon a combination of factors that include ethnicity, age, family history of prostate cancer and weight.
Currently, with this information, it leads professionals to treat a handful of men that may not need the treatment, but would suffer from unnecessary side effects. At the same time, others could benefit from more intensive treatment.
But with the discovery of five subtypes of prostate cancer, the treatment plans would be specifically designed to treat patients with a more accurate treatment that would allow them to positively benefit from it.
Director of early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK, Sara Hiom, added: “This is the first time we’ve had direct feedback from patients on such a large scale to show how the timeliness of their diagnosis colors their experience of the care they later receive. This could mean more effective treatment, helping save more lives and improve the quality of life for thousands.”
Researchers are saying that with genetic testing, they can better pinpoint the specific type of cancer and therefore recommend the best treatment plan for that patient, unique from any other patient’s plan.
The implications from the new data are positively leading experts to believe that they may be able to help more men and provide them with better options to treat aggressive cancers.