Nav: Home

Markers that cause toxic radiotherapy side-effects in prostate cancer identified

July 26, 2016

A new study involving researchers from The University of Manchester looked at the genetic information of more than 1,500 prostate cancer patients and identified two variants linked to increased risk of radiotherapy side-effects.

Nearly 50% of the 1.1 million men a year worldwide diagnosed with prostate cancer undergo radiotherapy. It is an effective treatment, but between 10 and 50 percent of men suffer from radiotherapy side-effects which can cause long-term problems with urinating or rectal bleeding.

It is not known why some men are more susceptible to side-effects and as a result doses are kept low to minimise the risk in all patients - reducing the effectiveness of treatment. The new Radiogenomics Consortium study coordinated from Manchester aimed to identify if there were any genetic markers which could explain this.

Genetic profiling was carried out on 1,564 patients from four centres based in Europe and North America. It examined genetic variants described as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) which form part of the subunits of DNA.

Two years after the radiotherapy, 17.8% of the group had suffered from rectal bleeding, 15% an increase in urinary frequency and 8.1% a decrease in urine stream.

Professor of Radiation Biology, Catharine West from The University of Manchester's Institute of Cancer Sciences led the research. She said: "The first studies into SNPs were smaller. We needed to show we could combine them to increase the number of patients investigated and improve our ability to identify genetic variants. Centres give radiotherapy in different ways and we needed to show this variability was not a problem."

The two variants found were associated with an increased frequency of urinating and a decreased flow of urine.

The causes for the associations are unclear, but the two SNPs identified are located in the regions of genes that are expressed in tissues exposed to radiation.

The results show radiotherapy cohorts can be combined and larger studies should identify enough variants to develop a test to predict a cancer patient's risk of radiotherapy side-effects.

Professor West added: "There are currently more than 32 million people alive five years after having cancer, so the side-effects of their treatment are an important issue for them. If we can develop a test that means people can reduce the risk of these problems that will be of huge benefit to this group."
-end-
Kerns SL, Dorling L, Fachal L et al. (2016). Meta-analysis of Genome Wide Association Studies Identifies Novel Genetic Markers of Late Toxicity Following Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer. EBioMedicine doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2016.07.022

Open access here: http://www.ebiomedicine.com/article/S2352-3964%2816%2930327-9/fulltext

University of Manchester

Related Cancer Articles:

Radiotherapy for invasive breast cancer increases the risk of second primary lung cancer
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
Cancer genomics continued: Triple negative breast cancer and cancer immunotherapy
Continuing PLOS Medicine's special issue on cancer genomics, Christos Hatzis of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., USA and colleagues describe a new subtype of triple negative breast cancer that may be more amenable to treatment than other cases of this difficult-to-treat disease.
Metabolite that promotes cancer cell transformation and colorectal cancer spread identified
Osaka University researchers revealed that the metabolite D-2-hydroxyglurate (D-2HG) promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition of colorectal cancer cells, leading them to develop features of lower adherence to neighboring cells, increased invasiveness, and greater likelihood of metastatic spread.
UH Cancer Center researcher finds new driver of an aggressive form of brain cancer
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers have identified an essential driver of tumor cell invasion in glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer that can occur at any age.
UH Cancer Center researchers develop algorithm to find precise cancer treatments
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers developed a computational algorithm to analyze 'Big Data' obtained from tumor samples to better understand and treat cancer.
New analytical technology to quantify anti-cancer drugs inside cancer cells
University of Oklahoma researchers will apply a new analytical technology that could ultimately provide a powerful tool for improved treatment of cancer patients in Oklahoma and beyond.
Radiotherapy for lung cancer patients is linked to increased risk of non-cancer deaths
Researchers have found that treating patients who have early stage non-small cell lung cancer with a type of radiotherapy called stereotactic body radiation therapy is associated with a small but increased risk of death from causes other than cancer.
Cancer expert says public health and prevention measures are key to defeating cancer
Is investment in research to develop new treatments the best approach to controlling cancer?
UI Cancer Center, Governors State to address cancer disparities in south suburbs
The University of Illinois Cancer Center and Governors State University have received a joint four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to help both institutions conduct community-based research to reduce cancer-related health disparities in Chicago's south suburbs.
Leading cancer research organizations to host international cancer immunotherapy conference
The Cancer Research Institute, the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy, the European Academy of Tumor Immunology, and the American Association for Cancer Research will join forces to sponsor the first International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York, Sept.

Related Cancer Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Crisis
There's no greater threat to humanity than climate change. What can we do to stop the worst consequences? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can save our planet and whether we can do it in time. Guests include climate activist Greta Thunberg, chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox, research scientist Sean Davis, food innovator Bruce Friedrich, and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...