Cancer treatment received a breakthrough with the news that scientists have isolated a genetic marker that indicates whether the onset of prostate cancer may be likely.
Researchers from Fox Chase Cancer Center, who made the discovery, will present their findings to the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting on May 30th.
It was found that prostate cancer patients who carry the T allele of Met160Val have an increased chance of developing a prostate tumour than those with the C allele.
Dr Veda Giri, medical oncologist and director of the Prostate Cancer Risk Assessment Program at Fox Chase, commented: "Markers such as this one are useful because they may help clinicians distinguish between men who are at risk for earlier onset of disease where intensive screening approaches can be discussed."
She added that those men who do not carry genetic markers will then most likely be exempt from screening.
The prostate gland is located within the male reproductive organs and prostate cancer occurs when the cells begin to multiply without control.