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Science File | Science in Brief

Blood Test May Show Who Are Most at Risk for Prostate Cancer

May 23, 1996|From Times staff and wire reports

A new genetic test shows promise as a way to predict which men are most likely to get an aggressive and often deadly form of prostate cancer. Related work may also help explain why black men are more likely to get prostate cancer than white men.

The blood test focuses on a single gene that helps determine how sensitive a man's prostate cells are to testosterone, a hormone that can turn a harmless prostate tumor into a deadly one, Dr. Philip Kantoff of Harvard's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute told a meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology in Philadelphia. "This is the first [genetic] factor we know of that influences the aggressiveness of prostate cancer," Kantoff said.

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