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Finding new genes involved in prostate cancer

We would like to introduce you to Professor Johanna Schleutker, from the University of Turku in Finland, who has just been awarded £184,554 for a 3 year grant.

Project title: Finding new genes involved in prostate cancer to help diagnose and treat patients

The cause of prostate cancer at the genetic level has so far been difficult to determine. Only a few ‘high risk’ genes and more common genetic mutations have been identified and they account for only a small number of cases. Professor Johanna Schleutker hopes to identify and characterise more genes involved in prostate cancer with her Worldwide Cancer Research grant. In particular, she hopes to find genes which predispose men to prostate cancer (meaning they have a higher chance of developing it than other people). She also hopes to find genes involved in the more aggressive type of the disease, which tends to affect younger men, as well as find genes that may influence how a man responds to prostate cancer treatments. In order to find these genes she will be using a combination of powerful new techniques, which can analyse vast amounts of data. Any genes discovered could be used to better diagnose prostate cancer, this is especially important for those men who have the more aggressive form of the disease and for whom early treatment is more urgent.