New Prostate Cancer Subtype Identified, Responsive to Immunotherapy

07:08 EDT 14 Jun 2018 | Genetic Engineering News

Researchers in the U.S. and U.K. have identified a new subtype of prostate cancer that is characterized by loss of both copies of the CDK12 gene, and which an early clinical study showed can respond to immune checkpoint inhibitor drugs that commonly aren’t effective against prostate cancer. The new tumor subtype is characterized by mutations in both copies of the CDK12 gene and occurs in about 7% of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), although only about 1% of patients with earlier-stage disease. Because prostate cancer is so common, 7% is a significant number,” says Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology, at the University of Michigan, who headed the research. “The fact that immune checkpoint inhibitors may be effective against this subtype of prostate cancer makes it even more significant. This is an exciting prospect for patients who have CDK12 alterations ...

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