A team of scientists at London's Institute of Cancer Research have developed a "spit test" that can be used to identify men most likely to develop prostate cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in U.S. men.
About 1 in 9 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point, according to the American Cancer Society.
The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Genetics, identified the 1 percent of men with the highest genetic risk for prostate cancer. This group is nearly six times more likely to develop prostate cancer than the general population, according to the study.
Researchers, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, utilized a new DNA analysis method to study the genes of more than 70,000 people. They looked at 150 DNA markers and found that the top 10 percent of men at highest risk for prostate cancer were found to nearly three times the risk of developing the disease. From Gizmodo:
Some 45,000 of the subjects had already developed prostate cancer, while 25,000 hadn’t. So the researchers compared the two groups, singling out any inherited genetic variations that might have contributed to their cancer risk.
Based on this data, the study said that researchers discovered 63 new variants that have previously not been associated with prostate cancer. Rosalind Eeles, a geneticist and co-author of the study, said those men found to be at greater genetic risk can receive proper screenings.