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Approved Research

Identification of Short tandem repeats (STRs) in cancer patient genome and their association with gene, miRNA and pathology results

Principal Investigator: Professor Jyotsna Batra
Approved Research ID: 80328
Approval date: October 14th 2022

Lay summary

The prostate cancer antigen (PSA) blood test remains the most commonly used clinical marker for prostate cancer. However, this test has limitations with sensitivity and selectivity. Therefore, other complementary biomarkers are needed to increase the efficacy of the PSA blood test and population screening. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been studied extensively as a prostate cancer biomarker. However, recent genome wide  and association studies indicate that SNPs may only account for ~30% of heritable prostate cancers. This suggests that the majority of prostate cancer risk lie in other genetic variations. Short tandem repeats (STRs) are genetic variants that are widely distributed in the human genome, and which are implicated in over 20 diseases. Various features of STRs suggest that they can play a regulatory role. There is also compelling evidence that the expansion of STRs within genes can lead to diseases, which has demonstrated their association with gene expression. The aims of this study are to find genetic marker including STRs for prostate cancers and clarify which genetic variants act to influence complex traits. We then aim compare the results of STRs in prostate cancers with other cancers to identify common and unique variations contributing to prostate cancer.

The outcome will provide a basis for diagnosis or prediction of prostate cancer in individual patients and providing new targets for drug discovery.