Prostate Cancer Research is the focus of the Journal of Molecular Diagnostic in November
We are always happy to see Prostate Cancer Research make it into the public forum. And this month we are proud to say our board member Ranjan J. Perera, is leading groundbreaking research in Putative Biomarkers for Prostate Cancer Detection. IPCF is proud to say, last year we awarded a grant to the Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research, which resulted in this landmark research for prostate cancer biomarkers.
Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer related death in males. While much work has been done in the realm of prostate cancer diagnosis there is still no agreement on a single diagnostic marker to be used for definitive diagnosis. Markers that are frequently used as diagnostic tools of prostate cancer include PSA and PCA3. Both markers however have limitations. PSA may lead to certain confusing situations when some other diseases such as inflammation (prostatitis) or benign prostate hyperplasia can provoke the same degree of PSA changes. PCA3 as a urine marker was recently introduced in wide clinical practice. Although it is proven to exclude prostate cancer, the overall value of this test is limited to predict aggressive nature of the disease. This leaves room for improvement in the detection of prostate cancer.
In this collaborative study done at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and Global Robotics Institute six main genes are searched in as a potential diagnostic tools to improve the diagnosis and risk stratification of prostate cancer. These are small molecules of RNA (ribonucleotide acids) that can play a crucial role in cancer development and progression. These molecules can be found in prostate tissue as well as in urine or blood.
The study consisted of 3 parts. The first one compared the level of this molecular gene information between healthy versus cancerous prostate tissue from laboratory-produced prostate cancer cells. The second analysis included a comparative measurement of these molecules from biopsy tissue of patients with and without prostate cancer. The third one performed an analysis of urine samples for these molecules between normal and cancerous patients. What was found was that these RNA structures were found in significantly increased levels in all cancer groups in comparison to the non-cancerous groups.
The initial results of this study demonstrated the promising value of newly discovered gene molecules as additional diagnostic tools that can be detected in tissue, blood and urine. We can combine the use of these markers with additional parameters such as PSA and PCA3 to increase the accuracy of diagnosing prostate cancer. Additional studies may be carried out to further evaluate the utility of these markers.