A study looking at the genetic causes of testicular cancer (The Leeds Testicular Cancer Study)

Cancer type:

Testicular cancer





This study was done to find out more about the causes of testicular cancer. And to identify genes that may be important in the development of the disease. 

The study was supported by Cancer Research UK. It was open for people to join between 2013 and 2018. The research team published the results in 2021.

More about this trial

Risk factors for testicular cancer include having a family history. When this study was done, we already knew about some genetic changes which can increase risk. But researchers wanted to find out more.

In this study, they looked at the genes of thousands of people with and without testicular cancer. They also asked about family history. And then looked for links between certain genetic changes and the development of testicular cancer.

The main aims of this study were to:

  • gather more information about genetic changes of people with testicular cancer
  • identify specific gene changes that could increase the risk of testicular cancer

Summary of results

Study design
This study was for men who had been diagnosed with testicular cancer. But men without cancer could also take part (the control group).

Everyone who took part answered questions about their family history and their medical history. The research team also took a blood sample and a sample of the cancer. This is so they could look at the genetic changes people had.

They then compared the genes of those who had cancer with those who didn’t, to see if there were any links.

These results include results of men who joined this study, and men who took part in other similar studies. This is called a meta analysis.

In total, the researchers looked at information about:

  • 10,156 people who had been diagnosed with testicular cancer
  • 179,683 people who hadn’t been diagnosed with testicular cancer

They found 22 new genetic changes that may increase the risk of testicular cancer. Some of these changes increase the risk more than others.

More detailed information
There is more information about this research in the reference below. 

Please note, this article is not in plain English. It has been written for health care professionals and researchers.

Identification of 22 susceptibility loci associated with testicular germ cell tumors
J Pluta and others
Nature Communications, 2021. Volume 12, article 4487.

Where this information comes from    
We have based this summary on the information in the article above. This has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. We have not analysed the data ourselves. As far as we are aware, the link above is active and the article is free and available to view.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Prof Timothy Bishop

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
The Testicular Cancer Consortium
University of Leeds 

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Last reviewed:

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