Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
RNAi
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Test Could Identify Which Prostate Cancers Require Treatment

Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, September 12, 2013
Bookmark and Share
3-gene biomarker gauges tumor’s aggressiveness.

The level of expression of three genes associated with aging can be used to predict whether seemingly low-risk prostate cancer will remain slow-growing, according to researchers at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Medical Center. Use of this three-gene biomarker, in conjunction with existing cancer-staging tests, could help physicians better determine which men with early prostate cancer can be safely followed with “active surveillance” and spared the risks of prostate removal or other invasive treatment. The findings were published today in the online edition of Science Translational Medicine.

“The problem with existing tests is that we cannot identify the small percentage of slow-growing tumors that will eventually become aggressive and spread beyond the prostate,” said coauthor Mitchell C. Benson, MD, PhD, George F. Cahill Professor of Urology and chair of urology at CUMC.

In their search for a biomarker for slow-growing prostate cancer, Dr. Abate-Shen and her colleagues, including, coauthor Michael Shen, PhD, professor of medicine and of genetics and development, focused on genes related to aging, particularly those affected by cellular senescence, a natural phenomenon in which older cells cease to divide but remain metabolically active. Cellular senescence is known to play a critical role in tumor suppression in general and has been associated with benign prostate lesions in mouse models and in humans.

Using a technique called gene set enrichment analysis, the CUMC team, led by coauthor Andrea Califano, PhD, Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Chemical Systems Biology and chair of systems biology, identified 19 genes that are enriched in a mouse model of prostate cancer in which the cancers are invariably indolent. They then used a decision-tree learning model, a type of computer algorithm, to identify three genes—FGFR1, PMP22, and CDKN1A—that together can accurately predict the outcome of seemingly low-risk tumors. Tumors that test negative for the biomarker are deemed aggressive.

In a blinded retrospective study, the researchers tested the prognostic accuracy of the three-gene panel on initial biopsy specimens from 43 patients who had been monitored for at least 10 years with active surveillance at CUMC. All the patients had first been diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer (as defined by several measures, including a Gleason score of 6 or less). Of the 43 patients, 14 ultimately developed advanced prostate cancer. All 14 were correctly identified by the test.

“The bottom line is that, at least in our preliminary trial, we were able to accurately predict which patients with low-risk prostate cancer would develop advanced prostate cancer and which ones would not,” said Dr. Abate-Shen.

The researchers plan to evaluate the test in a larger, prospective clinical trial, led by Dr. Benson and coauthor Sven Wenske, MD, assistant professor of urology at CUMC.

Physicians currently use several tests to diagnose prostate cancer and stage its aggressiveness. The process begins with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, a digital rectal exam, or both. If these tests raise concerns, the patient is typically advised to undergo a biopsy, in which samples of prostate tissue are examined for the presence of cancer cells. If malignant cells are detected, the patient is given a Gleason score (ranging from 2 to 10), a measure of the severity of the cancer based on the cells’ appearance. Patients with high Gleason scores (8 or above) are usually advised to undergo immediate treatment, while those with very low Gleason scores (5 or below) are usually advised to undergo active surveillance. “But it’s not so clear what to do for patients with low (Gleason 6) or even intermediate (Gleason 7) scores,” said Dr. Abate-Shen.

Men with seemingly low-risk prostate cancer currently have two basic choices. One is regular testing and monitoring, also known as active surveillance, which risks missing the window when the disease is localized and potentially curable. The other is aggressive treatment, which risks serious side effects such as urinary incontinence and impotence.

The paper is titled, “A molecular signature predictive of indolent prostate cancer.” The other contributors are Shazia Irshad, Mukesh Bansal, Alvaro Aytes, Tian Zheng, Paolo Guarnieri, Pavel Sumazin, and Clémentine Le Magnen (CUMC) and Mireia Castillo-Martin (Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY).


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,400+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Columbia Licenses Novel 3-D Organ and Tumor Segmentation Software to Varian Medical Systems
Allows for more precise and efficient planning and monitoring of cancer treatment.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Study Shows Why Leukemia Returns in Some Children
With sophisticated new DNA techniques, a team of researchers has found, for the first time, why many children with a type of leukemia suffer a relapse.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Two Treatments for Retinitis Pigmentosa Move Closer to Clinical Trials
One treatment involves skin-derived induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell grafts, the other gene therapy.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Columbia Awarded One of First NCI “Provocative Questions” Grants
Timothy H. Bestor, PhD, an epigenetics researcher and professor of genetics and development at CUMC, was selected for his proposal, “Methylation Suicide in Cancer”.
Friday, September 21, 2012
DNA Repair: How Chromosomes Find Each Other
Study found that after a double-strand break in DNA, the mobility of both the broken segment and other, unbroken, chromosomes is greatly increased.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Scientific News
RNAi Screening Trends
Understand current trends and learn which application areas are expected to gain in popularity over the next few years.
New Weapon in the Fight Against Blood Cancer
This strategy, which uses patients’ own immune cells, genetically engineered to target tumors, has shown significant success against multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells that is largely incurable.
TOPLESS Plants Provide Clues to Human Molecular Interactions
Scientists at Van Andel Research Institute have revealed an important molecular mechanism in plants that has significant similarities to certain signaling mechanisms in humans, which are closely linked to early embryonic development and to diseases such as cancer.
Toxin from Salmonid Fish has Potential to Treat Cancer
Researchers from the University of Freiburg decode molecular mechanism of fish pathogen.
Scientists Create CRISPR/Cas9 Knock-In Mutations in Human T Cells
In a project spearheaded by investigators at UC San Francisco, scientists have devised a new strategy to precisely modify human T cells using the genome-editing system known as CRISPR/Cas9.
Long-sought Discovery Fills in Missing Details of Cell 'Switchboard'
A biomedical breakthrough reveals never-before-seen details of the human body’s cellular switchboard that regulates sensory and hormonal responses.
Tracking Breast Cancer Before it Grows
A team of scientists led by University of Saskatchewan researcher Saroj Kumar is using cutting-edge Canadian Light Source techniques to screen and treat breast cancer at its earliest changes.
New Mussel-Inspired Surgical Protein Glue
Korean scientists have developed a light-activated, mussel protein-based bioadhesive that works on the same principles as mussels attaching to underwater surfaces and insects maintaining structural balance and flexibility.
Web App Helps Researchers Explore Cancer Genetics
Brown University computer scientists have developed a new interactive tool to help researchers and clinicians explore the genetic underpinnings of cancer.
Researchers Develop Vaccine that Protects Primates Against Ebola
A collaborative team from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the National Institutes of Health have developed an inhalable vaccine that protects primates against Ebola.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,400+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!