deCODE Launches a DNA-based Test for Assessing risk of Prostate Cancer
News Feb 11, 2008
deCODE genetics has announced the launch of deCODE PrCa™, a reference laboratory test for common, single-letter variations in the human genome (SNPs) that the company has associated with increased risk of prostate cancer. deCODE believes the test will be useful for better predicting risk of prostate cancer, helping to optimize both screening and treatment.
deCODE PrCa™ detects a total of six previously discovered SNPs that have been confirmed in many populations, as well as two SNPs on chromosomes X and 2 that are reported by deCODE scientists in a paper published in the online edition of Nature Genetics.
Although most of the variants individually confer moderate risk, they are common and some are linked to more than less aggressive disease. Consequently, a substantial proportion of men have many risk variants that together confer clinically significant risk. Because of these variants, 10% of men are at twice the risk and 1% of men are at three times the risk of the disease in the general population.
"Through deCODE PrCa™, we are bringing together in one tool all of the major genetic risk factors for prostate cancer that we have discovered over the past eighteen months. We believe that this is a test with significant clinical utility for improving and personalizing the screening and treatment of one of the most common cancers. At the same time, we will integrate today’s discovery into the prostate cancer module in our personal genome analysis service deCODEme™, enabling our subscribers to stay abreast of how the latest discoveries in human genetics may relate to their genome,” said Kari Stefansson, CEO of deCODE.
As genome editing technologies advance toward clinical therapies, they are raising hopes of a completely new way to treat disease. However, challenges need to be addressed before potential treatments can be widely used in patients. To tackle these challenges, the National Institutes of Health has launched the Somatic Cell Genome Editing program, which has awarded multiple grants including more than $3.6 million to assess the safety of genome editing in human cells and tissues.