Life – Terror. Ecstasy. Fight. Denial. Flight. Failure. PAIN. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Hope. Love. Peace – Death.
I am delighted to have been accepted onto the Oncogenetics Precision Medicine Research Study via The Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust (Trials).
This ‘Trial’ is investigating Precision Medicine in the prostate cancer care pathway: An evaluation of integrating germline genetic testing into the management of men at risk of / living with metastatic prostate cancer. In plain English a simple DNA mouth swab test for ‘all’ men as part of a GP integrated national genetic screening process to identify genetic predispositions and or other (early) indicators of prostate cancer.
Currently, prostate cancer is likely to effect one in 4 men in the UK.
Today, during my (screening) interview I was told of two men (in Liverpool) diagnosed aged 32 and 39. I was diagnosed aged 56, at the time that was considered young.
Men with a certain genetic make-up may be more likely to develop prostate cancer. The study is inviting men who either have prostate cancer (myself), and/or who are closely related to someone with prostate cancer (my son Aubrey), to have research genetic testing.
The genetic test will analyse a sample of your DNA (genetic material) for a set of genes that are known to be important in the development of prostate cancer and how this might inform clinical management.
They will look at how genetic information may be used to guide the types of treatments that men with prostate cancer can be offered both now and in the future. The study will also look at different screening options for men who are found to have a genetic predisposition, but who have not yet developed prostate cancer.
Cancer is generally caused by a combination of many factors, and research tells us that the main things that increase your risk of getting prostate cancer are age, having a family history of prostate cancer, and being from certain ethnic backgrounds.
It is thought that many genetic changes are involved in the development of prostate cancer. Some genetic changes have been discovered that can cause a large increase in prostate cancer risk and occasionally just one of these changes running through a family can be the cause of the prostate cancer. Such changes are known to be very rare but thought to be more common in men who are diagnosed at a younger age (i.e. under 70 years) and men with more aggressive disease.
There is regular screening for breast and cervical cancer in the UK but nothing for prostate cancer, if successful this study (trail) aims to have regular Oncogenetics Testing (screening) linked to precision medicine, in place within 4-5 years. This will have a significant positive effect for millions of UK men and their families.
There may be no direct benefits to me as an individual. However, it is possible that the study may find genetic information that helps to inform treatments or screening that are appropriate for myself based on this information. This study might be less significant for myself however, as a father and grandfather I am absolutely chuffed to think that I might end up having even the smallest part in helping get this important measure in place.
A ‘genetic profile’ is the process of screening someone’s DNA (genetic material) for many of these common changes and adding them all together to give an overall genetic risk score. Early identification of increased risk will ensure increased monitoring and early diagnosis and treatment if required.
Thanks for Reading