Compared with breast cancer, prostate cancer has been comparatively neglected as a topic for research; little has been discovered of its causes, there's no reliable method of early detection or treatment and nothing can be done to prevent it.
As a medium-term strategy, we decided to conduct a large case-control study in the mid-1990s to address several hypotheses, including diet. It soon became apparent that the strongest risk factor for prostate cancer was having a family history of the disease, and additional funding was sought to convert the case control study into a family study.
The strategy since has been to build an epidemiological and biological resource that will position us at the forefront of prostate cancer genetics research. We've recruited a large number of people with early onset prostate cancer (55 years of age or under), and their relatives, to search for susceptibility genes. Because prostate tumours are biologically diverse, another strategy has been to perform analyses on tumour samples to identify subgroups that are more homogenous. Homogenous tumours are likely to share risk factors and have susceptibility genes in common.
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Investigators: Giles GG, English D, Hopper JL* (*External collaborator)
Investigators: Giles G, English, D, Hopper J* (*External collaborator)
Investigators: Giles G, Syme R* (*External collaborator)