First Man Has Prostatectomy Because of BRCA Gene Mutation

The man who underwent the surgery is described as a 53-years-old businessman from London who is married with children and has several family members who have had breast or prostate cancer. When he found out he was carrying the BRCA2 mutation, he asked to have his prostate removed.

Initially, the ICR researchers were reluctant, the newspaper reports, because there was no indication of a problem, either from prostate-specific antigen tests or from a magnetic resonance imaging scan. However, a biopsy showed microscopic malignant changes.

via First Man Has Prostatectomy Because of BRCA Gene Mutation.

This report describes a young man who has his prostate removed because he has an oncogene that means he has a much higher risk of developing prostate cancer. It is unclear whether his biopsy showed cancer or premalignant changes. I once felt that men with genetic changes would one day have prophylactic prostatectomies similar to women having prophylactic mastectomies. The key is to find men that are more likely to develop aggressive cancers at younger ages.

New genetic tests to be developed for prostate cancer

Genetic test in three years to detect prostate cancer | Science | The Guardian:

“A genetic test that identifies men most at risk of prostate cancer could be available within three years, scientists said yesterday. British doctors will use the test in screening programmes to spot the disease in its earliest stages, before it has become dangerously advanced or has spread throughout the body.”

I had a patient in my office last week who was young, was done having children, and had a strong family history of prostate cancer. He was wondering if it would be reasonable to remove his prostate prophyllactically. I told him that I wasn’t ready to do that today, but in the near future I thought it would be reasonable. Breakthroughs like this will help diagnose prostate cancer earlier and more accurately than with prostate biopsies.

Genetics and inherited prostate cancer risk

Prostate Cancer: Major Genetic Risk Factor Found: “Harvard Medical School researchers have identified a DNA segment on chromosome 8 that is a major risk factor for prostate cancer, especially in African American men. The paper appears in the August electronic edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (also see PNAS’s
news tip below).

‘This paper identifies a genetic risk factor that about
doubles the likelihood of prostate cancer in younger African American
men,’ says principal investigator David Reich, PhD, Harvard Medical School
assistant professor of genetics with the HMS Department of Genetics and
the Broad Institute. ‘This finding may explain why younger African
Americans have an increased risk for prostate cancer than do other
populations–and may also explain why this increased risk in African
Americans attenuates with older age.'”

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