DNA mutations increase risk of prostate and kidney cancers

May 5, 2005

A particular signature set of inherited characteristics and mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) significantly increases the risk of kidney and prostate cancers in men, according to a presentation at the American Association of Cancer Research annual meeting in Anaheim, CA.

A particular signature set of inherited characteristics and mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) significantly increases the risk of kidney and prostate cancers in men, according to a presentation at the American Association of Cancer Research annual meeting in Anaheim, CA.

Investigators led by John A. Petros, MD, of Emory University, Atlanta, compared mtDNA of men in the general population of Caucasian Americans with those of men with kidney and prostate cancer. They found about 10% of the general population had mtDNA in haplogroup U, while about 21% of kidney cancer patients and about 17% of prostate cancer patients had the haplogroup U signature.

Several missense mutations in the mitochondrial gene were found in 12% of prostate cancer patients, compared with 2% of patients with negative biopsies for prostate cancer, Dr. Petros said.

"This is the first evidence that individuals who inherit these mutations are at increased risk of developing prostate cancer later in life," he said.

Look for more news from the AACR meeting in the June issue of Urology Times.