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Gene-expression signature may signify risk for recurrence, metastasis in prostate cancer
Date:4/15/2013

A team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers has identified a genetic signature that appears to reflect the risk of tumor recurrence or spread in men surgically treated for prostate cancer. If confirmed in future studies, this finding not only may help determine which patients require additional treatment after the cancerous gland has been removed, it also may help address the most challenging problem in prostate cancer treatment distinguishing tumors that require aggressive treatment from those that can safely be monitored. The report has been issued online in PNAS Early Edition.

"Radical prostatectomy is the standard of care for men whose cancer is advanced but confined to the prostate gland, but we know that the factors we use to determine which patients need radiation therapy after surgery are inadequate," says W. Scott McDougal, MD, of the MGH Department of Urology, corresponding author of the report. "The treatments available to our patients can have significant impact on their quality of life, so a better way to know which patients with localized cancer need additional therapy after surgery and which require no additional treatment is a significant unmet need."

Gene expression signatures indicating patient prognosis and sometimes the most appropriate treatment have been incorporated into care for breast cancer and other tumors. Studies looking for such markers in prostate cancer have had variable results, and their potential usefulness to guide treatment has not been determined. For the current study the research team led by Chin-Lee Wu, MD, PhD, of the MGH Department of Pathology examined samples of malignant tissue from around 200 prostate cancer patients who had radical prostatectomies at the MGH between 1993 and 1995, analyzing the expression patterns of more than 1,500 genes associated with prostate cancer in earlier studies. With the results of that analysis, they developed a 32-gene index to reflect t
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Contact: Ryan Donovan
rcdonovan@partners.org
617-724-6433
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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