Researchers probe the genetics of sufferers of prostate cancer

Cai Wenjun
Renji Hospital experts are in quest to find best therapy and medication to prolong lives of terminal patients.
Cai Wenjun

Local medical experts are undertaking research into genetic mapping of Chinese patients who are in the terminal stages of prostate cancer. 

The research aims to find the most suitable therapy and medication to prolong their lives, experts said.

The research, led by Dr Xue Wei's team at Shanghai's Renji Hospital, has involved study over three years of 292 patients in eight medical centers in China.

Their findings have been published in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an important global publication for cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The average survival rate of patients in the terminal stages of prostate cancer with metastasis is less than two years, and prolonging their lives is a hot topic of clinical research and practice.

Currently, the available genetic information related to prostate cancer patients is mainly Western data and there is lack of understanding and information about Chinese patients' genetic changes.

The capturing of cancer tissues from terminal-stage patients is difficult and the process is invasive, causing genetic research challenges in relation to Chinese patients.

However, Dr Xue's team has successfully collected patient blood samples and cancer tissues and found the genetic information from both blood and tissue to be almost the same. 

The researchers have found the genetic mutation of Chinese patients is quite different from Westerners. And they confirmed that blood samples, which are less painfully drawn, also can reveal genetic information about cancer.

Based on their research, the Renji Hospital experts said they can use more targeted medications to improve treatment effects and prolong patients' survival.

Both the incidence and mortality rates of prostate cancer in China keep rising because of lifestyle changes. There are 72,000 new cases every year, making it a major threat to elderly men's health.

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