Navigation Links
Biomarkers May Predict Aggressiveness of Prostate Cancer

Cancer expert is wary of finding, however

TUESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) --Three molecules associated with prostate cancer might provide the long-sought markers that could discern which tumors are life-threatening and need aggressive treatment, a new study indicates.

The currently hot debate about the value of screening for early detection of prostate cancer hinges on the fact that the cancer is usually so slow-growing that there is no lifesaving benefit from treatment such as surgery, which can cause impotence and incontinence. Recent studies in the United States and Europe found at best limited benefit from routine prostate cancer screening, and new guidelines from the American Urological Association say that many men do not need annual screening tests.

As yet, there are no established markers to distinguish which prostate cancers grow fast enough to require such treatment. The new study, published in the May 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, identifies three such markers.

"We're not trying to say these are the only markers," said study author Dr. John Concato, a professor of medicine at Yale University and director of the clinical epidemiological research for the Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System. "This is a proof of principle."

Measuring levels of the markers might someday help guide treatment of men with prostate cancer, he said. "If the markers are positive, that might be an indication that more aggressive therapy is indicated," Concato said.

However, that claim was challenged in an accompanying editorial by a cancer specialist.

The findings stemmed from an examination of tissue samples from 1,172 men diagnosed with prostate cancer at VA centers in New England. Researchers looked at a number of possible biomarkers and identified three associated with a higher risk of death from the cancer: bcl-2, a molecule that helps regulate cell death; p53, a protein produced by a tumor-suppressor gene; and microvessel density, the excessive production of blood vessels needed for growth of a cancer.

Levels of all three markers were significantly higher in the men who died of prostate cancer in the subsequent 11 to 16 years, the study found.

Concato said the study is just a first step toward use of the biomarkers to guide prostate cancer treatment. "Other groups should replicate our results," he said. "Based on these results, there should be an effort at developing therapies that attack the mechanisms reflected by these markers."

Concato said he has proposed a clinical trial that "would treat patients based on marker status, as positive or negative."

The editorial by Dr. Edward P. Gelmann, chief of the division of hematology/oncology and deputy director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University, challenged the value of all three biomarkers.

A number of previous studies have shown that results of p53 tests "are not reproducible from one laboratory to the next," Gelmann said. "There is great variability in both technique and results." Though p53 has been studied as a biomarker for a number of cancers, he said, it is used only for one rare malignancy, transitional cell carcinoma of the blood.

As for bcl-2, Gelmann said that the number of cases in the study with a positive reading was too small to provide proof of its predictive power. "To prove it has prognostic significance would require would require a larger trial," he said.

And the measure of blood vessel density done in the study was not necessarily reproducible, Gelmann said. "It was done by an individual observer without anyone else checking it," he said.

In response, Concato said that "the editorial doesn't mention several major strengths of the study, and it misrepresents what was known before we did our study."

"For example, showing a link between markers taken at diagnosis and long-term mortality had not been shown before," he said. "Perhaps the editorial is concerned about inappropriate, excessive use of these markers -- and, if so, we would agree."

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on prostate cancer.

SOURCES: John Concato, M.D., professor, medicine, Yale University, and director, Clinical Epidemiological Research Center, Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, New Haven, Conn.; Edward P. Gelmann, M.D., chief, division of hematology/oncology, and deputy director, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University, New York City; May 5, 2009, Annals of Internal Medicine

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Vitamin D Linked to HDL Cholesterol - Shaklee Corporation Research Links Vitamin D with Key Biomarkers for Metabolic Syndrome and Heart Disease
2. Potential lung disease biomarkers yield clues to COX-2 inhibitor side effects
3. Cordex Pharma to Collaborate with BG Medicine in a Clinical Study of Heart Failure Biomarkers
4. Biomarkers detected for Chikungunya fever
5. Frost & Sullivan Lauds Toscana Biomarkers Outstanding Contributions to the R&D of Novel Biomarkers for the Diagnosis of Autoimmune Diseases
6. Thomson Reuters White Paper Explores the Role of Biomarkers in Clinical Trials and Drug Development
7. Biomarkers improve ischemic stroke prediction
8. Biomarkers: What can they tell us
9. PreMD Files Provisional Patent Application Describing a New Method of Quantifying Cancer Biomarkers
10. Biomarkers May Help Spot, Track Alzheimers
11. Toyota Tsusho America, Inc. and Nippon Kayaku Co., Ltd. Announce the Formation of GlycoMark, Inc., a Joint Venture to Develop and Commercialize Novel Biomarkers for Diabetes
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Biomarkers May Predict Aggressiveness of Prostate Cancer
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Dr. Thomas Dunlap and Dr. Patrick Coleman ... with Emergency Medicine at St., Joseph Health System’s Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital , ... in similar ways and require time-critical intervention to avoid large area heart damage and ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of ... 11 LTS (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product line. , Making ... with a version of Asterisk that will receive not only security fixes, but ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think Thanksgiving, they ... to buy during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair sales ... the Internet high and low to find the best massage chair deals, they can ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Somu Sivaramakrishnan announced today that ... Somu now offers travelers, value and care based Travel Services, including exclusive pricing ... well as, cabin upgrades and special amenities such as, shore excursions, discounted fares, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Omaha, NE (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... careers searched by healthcare professionals and offered by healthcare staffing agency Aureus Medical ... top during the month of October 2015 among those searching for healthcare jobs through ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 26, 2015  The total global healthcare industry is expected ... Latin America has the highest projected ... Japan ), is second with growth projected ... face increased healthcare expenditure. In 2013-2014, total government funded healthcare ... in 2008-2009 to 41.2% in 2013-2014. In real terms, out ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 AAIPharma ... planned investment of at least $15.8  Million to ... Wilmington, NC . The expansion will ... to meet the growing demands of the pharmaceutical ... site expansion will provide up to 40,000 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... AVIV, Israel , November 25, 2015 ... (NASDAQ: KTOV ) (TASE: KTOV), a biopharmaceutical company ... simultaneous treatment of various clinical conditions, today announced the ... 3,158,900 American Depository Shares ( ADSs ), each representing ... purchase up to 3,158,900 ADSs. The ADSs and warrants ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: