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New Prostate Cancer Biomarker Discovered

Finding also might apply in other types of cancer, researcher says

THURSDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- A new marker for advanced prostate cancer and metastasis, or spread, of the disease has been identified by U.S. researchers.

Their analysis of prostate tissue from men with localized prostate cancer revealed that the men had significantly decreased levels of a stromal protein called caveolin-1. The researchers also found that the protein was not present in tumor tissue from men with metastatic prostate cancer.

Lower levels of caveolin-1 were associated with a high Gleason score, which is one of the most important predictors of poor clinical outcome among prostate cancer patients, according to the study, which appears online in advance of publication in the August print issue of Cell Cycle.

"We previously showed that the absence of stromal caveolin-1 is also associated with advanced tumor stage, early recurrence and metastasis of breast cancer," Dr. Michael Lisanti, a professor in the departments of cancer biology, medical oncology, and biochemistry and molecular biology at Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, said in a university news release.

"Now we have identified [the protein's] similar prognostic value in prostate cancer," Lisanti added. "It is possible that this biomarker may be universal and could be widely applicable as a prognostic indicator for other cancer types as well."

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about prostate cancer.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Thomas Jefferson University, news release, June 16, 2009

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