Getting Personal about Inherited Risk for Prostate Cancer


Headshot of Dr. Veda Giri

A new study published in JCO Precision Oncology by lead investigator Veda N. Giri, MD, at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson takes an important step in deciphering the genetic landscape contributing to inherited prostate cancer. Genetic Evaluation of Men (GEM) is a study focused on uncovering the genetic contribution to inherited prostate cancer.

Dr. Giri, Leonard Gomella, MD, and their colleagues at SKCC, along with co-investigators Dr. Obeid, Dr. Chen, and colleagues at Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC), used a commercially available multigene panel to test for inherited mutations in a group of 200 men, 62.5% of whom have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.  Of the participant cohort, 5.5% were found to carry genetic mutations, most of which were in genes involved in DNA repair. Comparing the spectrum of mutations with other associated patient variables, including age, race, family history, and prostate cancer stage and grade, the investigators found an association of family history of breast cancer with mutation status.

These findings support the potential connection of breast and prostate cancers in families. “Our results highlight the importance of obtaining detailed family history from patients in order to interpret their specific cancer and genetic risk factors. This family history should encompass the maternal and paternal sides of the family, and include male and female cancers as we learn more about common genetic connections between cancers,” states Dr. Giri. The emerging findings are an example of genetically-based precision assessment of cancer risk to inform personalized cancer screening and treatment. Genetic results can also have impact on families to provide cancer risk information to guide screening and prevention.  GEM and analogous efforts will be critical for tailored genetic counseling in the context of prostate cancer and to inform referrals of men for genetic testing, cancer screening, and precision treatment.

Dr. Giri is an Associate Professor in Medical Oncology and Cancer Biology and Director of Cancer Risk Assessment and Clinical Cancer Genetics at SKCC. Dr. Obeid is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Genetics at FCCC. For further details, see:

1Veda N. Giri, 2Elias Obeid, 1Laura Gross, 2Lisa Bealin, 1Colette Hyatt, 1Sarah E. Hegarty, 2Susan Montgomery, 2Andrea Forman, 2Ruth Bingler, 1William K. Kelly, 1Adam P. Dicker, 1Stephanie Winheld, 1Edouard J. Trabulsi, 2David Y.T. Chen, 1Costas D. Lallas, 3Brian A. Allen, 2Mary B. Daly, and 1Leonard G. Gomella

Author affiliations include: 1Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, 2Fox Chase Cancer Center, and 3Myriad Genetics.

 JCO Precision Oncology  DOI: 10.1200/PO.16.00039.