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Genomic Testing for Prostate Cancer
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Genomic Testing for Prostate Cancer

Genomic testing for prostate cancer is the process of identifying gene mutations in patients with prostate cancer or those who want to know if they have an increased risk of getting cancer. Gene mutations can help physicians predict response to different treatment options and predict how aggressive the tumor will be.

Genomic testing for prostate cancer, measures the expression of certain genes in prostate cancer cells. Each gene in your body can be mutated either during your lifetime or inherited from family members. Researchers are continuously studying the cause of the gene mutations and their behavior through clinical studies.

What Genomic Tests are Available for Prostate Cancer?

Genomic
testing methods for prostate cancer can differ in the type of sample collected
from the patient. There are multiple methods of testing for gene mutations.
Testing for a select group of genes specific to risk in a cancer type is called
genetic testing. Genomic testing covers all cells in the body and detects any
increased risk for various cancer types. Patients should consult their
physician for which kind of test is right for them. The two methods of genomic
testing used for prostate cancer include:

  • Germline Testing: A blood test is performed, or a sample of saliva is collected from the individual and analyzed to confirm the exact inherited gene mutations, if any are present. For those who do not have prostate cancer, this will show any increased risks for developing other cancer types.
  • Somatic Testing: A biopsy of the tumor is taken or tumor DNA from the blood is collected. This type of test is available only for patients with a confirmed cancer diagnosis. Eligibility for prostate cancer targeted therapies can be confirmed and all gene mutations are identified.

For patients
who receive a prostatectomy, the same tissue can be tested for genetic
mutations. Some mutations can predict the patient’s response to surgery and the
likelihood of metastasis.

Who Should Get Genomic
Testing?

Everyone
should consider getting a genomic test to learn the exact gene mutations you
have and how they affect your risk of developing cancer, or the overall
prognosis of the disease. Many cancer types have targeted therapies available
for specific gene mutations. To see if genomic testing would benefit you, speak
with your physician. The three most common genes responsible for increasing
prostate cancer risk are:

  • BRCA1
  • BRCA2
  • HOXB13

1 in 6
prostate cancer patients have an inherited gene mutation, which was noted to be
the cause of the cancer. Many times, these patients develop metastasis within
five years of diagnosis, which is four times more than those who did not
inherit one of the genes. Cases with inherited genes, also known as hereditary
cancers, have a mortality rate that is six times higher than cases that are not
hereditary. Because prostate cancer has a higher rate of hereditary cancer
cases, prostate cancer patients, and those with a family history, should
consider genomic testing.

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