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Kidneys & urology

Testicular cancer, new genetic errors discovered are associated with increased risk

January 1, 2018

Move forward towards a genetic test for testicular cancer. Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research in London have indeed identified new genetic factors associated with an increased risk of developing this neoplasia: “The results of the study are certainly very interesting although the real clinical implication remains to be demonstrated. The identification of these genes represents a step forward in understanding the causes of this neoplasia and therefore, could potentially guide the development of new and more targeted therapeutic strategies “, adds Dr. Giovanni Lughezzani, Urologist at Humanitas.


Researchers, who published the study on Nature Genetics, compared the DNA of 7,319 men with testicular cancer with that of just over 23 thousand healthy subjects. Analyzing the DNA code it was possible to identify nineteen further genetic variations associated with the disease, reaching a total of 44 genetic factors. Thus, the researchers conclude, it is possible to explain more than a third of the risk of inheriting this neoplasia.


High survival for this neoplasia

By testing all 44 of these factors with genetic markers, 1% of individuals at greater risk of developing the disease were found, i.e. those with an increased risk of 7%, fourteen times greater than the risk of the general population (0.5%).


In Italy, up to 49 years of age, testicular cancer is the most diagnosed tumor, accounting for 12% of all cancer diagnoses. The incidence peak is reached around 25-29 years and its incidence has continued to increase in the last 20 years. However, due to the evolution of diagnostic and therapeutic strategies, its mortality is very low, with a survival rate of more than 90% five years after diagnosis.


Genetic testing and family history

What benefits could be derived from the definition of a genetic test? “The benefits of such a test would derive from the possibility of identifying the patients most at risk of developing testicular cancer. These patients could benefit from closer monitoring or even preventive treatment. Moreover, their identification could promote a screening strategy for testicular cancer. In particular, this strategy could be adopted in those who have a family history of testicular cancer,” concludes the specialist.

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