10 September 2015

Study: Nearly half of testicular cancer risk comes from inherited genetic faults.

Testicular Cancer News
A new study from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), UK, our long-time men's health partner, reports that almost half of the risk of developing testicular cancer comes from the DNA passed down from our parents. This is a significant step towards helping Mo Bros and their families reduce the risk of testicular cancer impacting their lives.

This research suggests genetic inheritance is much more important in testicular cancer than in most other cancer types, where genetics typically accounts for less than 20 per cent of risk. This study potentially opens up ways of preventing the disease, which is awesome news for men out there.

Dr Claire Turnbull and her team of expert researchers at The ICR, London, have been flying the Movmeber flag for years now and are at the very tip of the spear when it comes to genetics in the world of testicular cancer research. Along with colleagues in Germany, Sweden and the US, they used two independent approaches to analyse the risk of testicular germ cell tumours – easily the most common type of testicular cancer. Their research is the largest study ever to explore testicular germ cell tumours in detail and could only come about by the extraordinary fundraising achievements of the Movember community.

The analysis revealed that 49 per cent of all the possible factors contributing to testicular cancer risk are inherited. It found that the inherited risk comes from a large number of minor variations in DNA code, rather than one faulty gene with a big effect.

“This is a significant development in the fight for a world where no man dies of testicular cancer. Dr Turnbull and her team at the ICR have generated important evidence to demonstrate that genetic factors might in the future help identify men and boys who have a higher risk of developing testicular cancer. These discoveries help to unlock the mysteries of this relatively poorly understood cancer and may ultimately identify potential treatment targets to fight this disease.  

The Movember Foundation and the ICR have shared a valuable partnership to date and we are delighted to confirm that we will continue to support this work from the proceeds of the 2015 Movember campaign. To help us to continue to support world-changing research, like that of Dr Turnbull and her team, we encourage you to support the 2015 Movember campaign by visiting www.movember.com.”

Sam Gledhill, Movember Foundation Testicular Cancer Programme Manager.


“Our findings have important implications in that they show that if we can discover these genetic causes, screening of men with a family history of testicular cancer could help to diagnose those at greatest risk, and help them to manage that risk. But our study also shows that much work remains to be done. There are a lot of genetic factors that cause testicular cancer which we are yet to find – so the first step must be to identify the genetic drivers of testicular cancer so we can develop new ways to prevent it.”

Dr Clare Turnbull, Senior Researcher, ICR, London..

Claire took the time out of her busy schedule to sit down and explains her role, and that of her relationship with the Movember Foundation, to Mo Bro and Australian Radio DJ Osher Günsberg in an episode of Movember Radio, our new weekly podcast.

Check it out Claire's interview here, or listen to the other episodes of Movember Radio here.