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Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

In a study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers uncovered more than two dozen unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients. The Duke University School of Medicine-led team performed whole-exome sequencing of a population-based cohort of 743 Black prostate cancer patients, all of whom had been diagnosed with the disease at 62 years of age or younger. Within 30 men, they found 26 unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants in more than a dozen genes, including HOXB13, BRCA1, BRCA2, BRIP1, ATM, CHEK2, and PALB2. Additionally, they identified within 39 men 33 unique variants of unknown significance within 16 genes. The researchers note that most individuals with these germline variants were more likely to have a relative who had been diagnosed with DNA damage repair, or DDR, gene-related cancer. "Variants in DDR genes and HOXB13 may be important cancer risk factors for Black men diagnosed with early-onset prostate cancer, and are more frequently observed in men with a family history of cancer," the researchers write.