Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Chromosome 17 Gene Mutations and Prostate Cancer Risk

Technology #5125

UM File # 5125

Background
Prostate cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in men and is the second most common cancer in American men. While much of the ongoing research is focused on improving treatment of prostate cancer, there is another branch that is focused on prevention. Prevention strategies for prostate cancer fall into two categories: one aimed at preventing disease and the other focused on reducing the risk of progression of premalignant lesions. These types of approaches have been utilized successfully in other diseases, such as in cardiovascular disease and breast cancer. Genetic markers of disease play a unique role in prevention strategies as diagnostic tools to aid researchers and clinicians in identifying candidates who may harbor gene mutations that predispose them to disease.

Technology Description
Through the use of genetic linkage analysis and targeted massively-parallel sequencing, researchers at the University of Michigan have identified 4 unique homeobox (HOX)B13 gene mutations that may be predictive of prostate cancer. One of the HOXB13 mutations identified was found to have a carrier rate that was approximately 20 times higher in prostate cancer patients than in cancer-free male control patients, and was significantly more common in men with early-onset, familial prostate cancer. Use of this technology may aid clinicians in identifying individuals who would greatly benefit from prevention strategies, which could dramatically decrease the number of prostate cancer cases.
Applications • New marker for the detection of cancer.
Advantages • Early detection may allow for early cancer treatment, or even prevention.