DALLAS June 15, 2008 A simple blood test may help doctors better predict whether prostate cancer will recur or spread in patients who have undergone surgery for the disease, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.
In a study published in the June 15 issue of Clinical Cancer Research, UT Southwestern scientists identified a panel of seven biomarkers that can predict with 86 percent accuracy which prostate cancer patients will experience a recurrence and progression of the disease. Biomarkers are proteins circulating in a patient's blood that are specific to a disease.
Current risk assessment methods, which include stage and grade of cancer and the level of prostate-specific antigen, can predict prostate cancer recurrence with about 70 percent accuracy.
"There are several unresolved issues in the clinical and surgical management of prostate cancer, one of them being the identification of men who have insignificant cancers and can be followed, and another being the identification of men most likely to have spread of disease and early or late recurrence," said Dr. Claus Roehrborn, chairman of urology at UT Southwestern and one of the study's authors. "In the future, once we can reliably identify those patients, we may be able to offer additional treatment to counteract that risk and give those men a better chance for a permanent cure. The panel of biomarkers is an important step in this direction."
For nine years, Dr. Shahrokh Shariat, who is now a resident in urology at UT Southwestern and the study's lead author, has been collaborating with basic-science researchers and clinicians to find a comprehensive group of biomarkers associated with prostate cancer that could more accurately predict the biological behavior of the disease.
Using commonly available blood testing methods, Dr. Shariat and his team measured the levels of seven biomarkers in 423 patients who were subsequently surgical
|Contact: Connie Piloto|
UT Southwestern Medical Center