I thought this might be relevant or helpful to some of our members. January 16, 2008 New Genetic Risks for Prostate Cancer Identified By GINA KOLATA A combination of common and minor variations in five regions of DNA can help predict a mans risk of getting prostate cancer, researchers are reporting today. And, they say, a company, ProActive Genetics, formed by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, expects to offer the test, which will analyze DNA in mailed in blood or saliva samples. The test should be available in a few months, said Karen Richardson, a Wake Forest spokeswoman, and should cost less than $300. This is, some medical experts say, a first taste of what is expected to be a revolution in medical prognostication. The results, they agree, are clear. But the question is, What happens next? And will patients be helped or harmed? Since the new test cannot predict which men will get aggressive cancers, it could lead to more screening and unnecessary surgery and complications. But, proponents say, it also could help men decide whether they want aggressive screening in the first place. The study found that men with four or five gene variants had a 4.5-fold increase in their risk as compared to men with none. If the men had four or five of these variants and also had a family history of prostate cancer, their risk increased nearly ten fold compared to men with none of those risk factors. Nearly half of the cases of prostate cancer among the approximately 5000 men in the study could be attributed to the five gene regions and a family history. The average age of the men in the study was the mid-60s. article continues here.