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affecting science, medicine and the | Science in Brief

Gene Identified That Puts Men at Risk for Prostate Cancer

February 01, 2001

Utah researchers have identified the first gene that places men at risk of developing prostate cancer. Researchers at Myriad Genetics report in the February Nature Genetics that men with either of two mutations to a gene called HPC2 (for Hereditary Prostate Cancer 2) are five to 10 times more likely to develop prostate cancer than men with the normal form. Those with two other, less severe mutations of the gene, are 1.5 to 3 times as likely to develop cancer.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 198,100 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year and that 31,500 will die from it. Studies indicate that genetic predisposition may account for 25% to 50% of all prostate cancers.

--Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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