Men looking for the best private GPs Bedfordshire has to offer should be pleased with the news that research into prostate cancer has identified five different forms of the disease.
Defining the different forms the disease can take means treatment options could be refined in a way that could improve their effectiveness and resulting survival rates.
Cancer Research UK headed the study, which looked at prostate cancer in over 250 men, and found significant differences in their cancers. These were controlled by over 1,000 genes and analysis of 100 of these could provide a better insight into the risk of disease progression than the Gleason score and PSA test which is currently used.
Prior to this study, just six genes were known to control prostate cancer tumours.
The five different groups they found had gene abnormalities that caused the following:
DNA deletions and low activity of some genes.
High DNA replication leading to high activity of some genes.
Then the further three groups had copy number alterations which caused changes in the activity of some genes.
The first part of the study involved tests being carried out on cancerous prostates that had been removed from 150 men in Cambridge, and these results were then confirmed in the same way by studying cancers of 100 men who were based in Sweden.
Men with higher levels of genetic changes were more likely to face a relapse after surgery to remove the cancer. This finding could lead to more targeted treatment of more aggressive cancers.