New research on gene changes linked to prostate cancer is helping scientists better understand how prostate cancer develops. This could make it possible to design medicines to target those changes. Tests to find abnormal prostate cancer genes could also help identify men at high risk who might benefit from screening or from chemo-prevention trials, which use drugs to try to keep them from getting cancer.
Most of the gene mutations that have been studied as factors that might increase prostate cancer risk are from chromosomes that are inherited from both parents. Some research has found that a certain variant of mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited only from a person’s mother, might also raise a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer.