Each year nearly 13,200 new cases of testicular cancer occur and it is the most common cancer in men between ages 20 and 39. More than 90 percent of the cases can be cured, especially if it is caught early. However, it is often difficult to detect the cancer before it starts to spread. Researchers now say they have discovered a new method of detecting testicular cancer before it spreads.
Researchers say they have found a gene, called TFAP2C that is expressed in testicular cancer patients, which provides a marker for detecting the cancer. Semen was analyzed from 12 patients with known testicular cancer and a number of control groups, including men with other types of cancers and infertility problems and a group of healthy men. As the first semen samples were evaluated, the testicular cancer gene marker was detected in a sample from one of the healthy controls. The patient had no indications of testicular cancer and upon further clinical evaluation, including a biopsy, pre-testicular cancer cells were revealed.
Thus researchers say further studies need to be done to confirm this method of screening.