In a study led by North Carolina researchers, scientists have taken a key step toward revealing the causes of prostate cancer.
The researchers found that a combination of five gene variants
dramatically raises the risk of the disease. Added to family
history, they accounted for nearly half of all cases in a study of
The discovery is remarkable not just for the big portion of
cases it might explain. It's also notable because this relatively new approach of looking at combos rather than single genes may help solve the mystery of many complex diseases like cancer and diabetes that are thought to involve multiple genes or interactions between them.
The study was led by doctors at Wake Forest University in
Winston-Salem and involved Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore
and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
Results were published online Wednesday by the New England
Journal of Medicine.