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First biomarker discovered that predicts prostate cancer outcome
Date:8/14/2007

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Mayo Clinic researchers have identified the first immune molecule that appears to play a role in prostate cancer development and in predicting cancer recurrence and progression after surgery. The report on the B7-H3 molecule by Mayo Clinic Cancer Center appears today in Cancer Research.

This discovery will allow physicians to individualize treatment and observation plans for prostate cancer patients, says Timothy Roth, M.D., a Mayo Clinic urology resident and lead author of the study. Being able to tell a patient his specific risk after surgery, and perhaps even prior to surgery, will be a huge step forward.

Until now there were no strongly-predictive molecules for prostate cancer. The most notable other prostate biomarkers, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), and prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) are useful to diagnose prostate cancer. However, PSA tends to leave prostate cancer cells and migrate throughout the body, making it a poor target for therapy.

Todays Research

In this study, Mayo researchers demonstrate that nearly all normal, pre-malignant and cancerous prostate cells have B7-H3 on their surface. Unlike PSA, B7-H3 stays attached to the surface of prostate cancer cells and does not appear to migrate, thus making B7-H3 a particularly attractive target for therapy. The researchers believe that B7-H3 kills or paralyzes immune cells that are trying to attack the cancer. Their findings indicate that B7-H3 may prove useful as a diagnostic, prognostic and even therapeutic tool because it is stably or increasingly displayed by tumor cells as prostate cancers develop -- even after initiation of anti-hormone therapy, which is the most common treatment for advanced prostate cancer.

The physician-research team examined tissue from 338 consecutive patients who had cancers confined to the prostate and were treated exclusively with a radical prostatectomy (surgery to remove the prostate)
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Contact: Elizabeth Zimmermann
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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