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New Analysis Identifies 22 Genetic Locations For Inherited Testicular Cancer

A meta-analysis conducted on around 200,000 men has led to the discovery of 22 new genetic locations, which are vulnerable to inherited testicular germ cell tumours or TGCT. This is a 40-fold increase in the number of areas where the cancer cells can originate.

The multi-institutional meta-study was done by researchers from The International Testicular Cancer Consortium or TECAC, led by Katherine Nathanson, Deputy Director of Penn's Abramson Cancer Center and Pearl Basser, Professor of BRCA-Related Research in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

The new findings have been published online in Nature Communications and could be helpful to doctors in finding out which men are at risk for developing the disease and guide them towards proper care and treatment.

In 2017, the TECAC had discovered around 12 locations and this latest study brings the total number of genetic locations to 78.

Commenting on the latest findings, Nathanson said, "This latest set of genetic locations is adding to our understanding of the inherited drivers of testicular cancer, as we look to improve screening among men who may be at high risk. Although this cancer is curable, identifying these men earlier can help save them from having to undergo certain treatments, such as chemotherapy, which can have late and unwanted complications."

In almost 95 percent of testicular cancer cases, germ cell tumors are found to be the main cause of the cancer. Testicular germ cell tumors are the most common cancer found in white men aged between 20-39 years in Europe and the U.S. The number of cancer cases are on the upward track since the past 25 years in white and Latino men.

According to reports, genome-wide association studies or GWAS is found to be more successful in identifying common variations associated with the disease. Nathanson and TECAC teams have used the method to find locations on chromosomes, commonly known as loci, that contain variants associated with a high risk of germ cell tumors.

In the latest study, TECAC researchers studied genetic data from 10,156 testicular germ cell tumor cases and 179,683 controls in the largest GWAS of testicular germ cell tumors till now.

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