Navigation Links
U-M researchers discover traits of aggressive form of prostate cancer

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Researchers led by a team at the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology at the University of Michigan Health System have identified traits of an aggressive type of prostate cancer that occurs in about 10 percent of men who have the disease. They hope the discovery could lead, possibly within the next few years, to a simple urine test that will help to diagnose this variation of prostate cancer.

Previous studies by this group of researchers have shown that most prostate cancer is caused in part by a gene fusion the merging of two unrelated genes, which plays a role in at least 50 percent of prostate cancer cases.

To shed light on the prostate cancers that don't involve gene fusion, the researchers in the current study analyzed data on 1,800 prostate cancers to find commonalities in their genetic aberrations. They learned that a gene called SPINK1 (serine peptidase inhibitor, Kazal type 1) was over-expressed, or found in excess amounts, in prostate cancers that do not have gene fusions. The finding suggests that SPINK1 is a biomarker a molecule in bodily fluids, blood and tissue that can be a signal of a disease for a subtype of prostate cancer.

The findings, reported in the June issue of the journal Cancer Cell, also suggest that men with SPINK1related prostate cancers tend to have a quicker recurrence of the disease than those with other types of prostate cancer.

"Our study is really the first to look at what is happening molecularly with fusion-negative prostate cancers," says Scott Tomlins, Ph.D., first author of the paper and an M.D./Ph.D. student at the U-M Medical School.

"Because SPINK1 can be found non-invasively in urine, a test could be developed that would complement current urine testing that is used to detect some prostate cancer or future urine tests for gene fusions," adds senior author Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology and S.P. Hicks Endowed Professor of Pathology at the U-M Medical School.

An estimated 186,320 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed this year, according to the National Cancer Institute, and more than 28,000 men will die from the disease this year. More than 70 percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are older than 65.

Current tests for prostate cancer include prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests. Increased levels of PSA can indicate that prostate cancer is present. Another test is a digital rectal examination, which can detect abnormalities in the prostate. Another urine-based test screens for PCA3 as a specific biomarker of prostate cancer.

Background: In 2005, Chinnaiyan and his team made the landmark discovery that in prostate cancer, pieces of two chromosomes trade places with each other. This switch, or translocation, causes two unrelated genes to be placed next to each other and fuse together. The abnormal gene fusion associated with prostate cancer occurs when one of two genes, ERG or ETV1, merges with a prostate-specific gene called TMPRSS2.

Before this discovery, it was thought that gene fusions only occurred in blood cancers, such as leukemias and lymphomas, but not in common solid tumors such as prostate cancer. Chinnaiyan's discovery demonstrated that these gene fusions could be found in solid tumors and has opened an entire field of research. This discovery may lead to better diagnostic tests and new treatments for prostate cancer.

Earlier this year, Chinnaiyan's team published a study about a urine test that more accurately detects prostate cancer than any other screening method currently in use. They built on the PCA3 test by screening for six additional biomarkers and some molecules. In their research, the team accurately identified 80 percent of patients who were later found to have prostate cancer, and they were 61 percent effective in ruling out disease in other study participants.

Methodology: In the current study, the team used a bioinformatics analysis method called Cancer Outlier Profile Analysis (COPA) developed by Tomlins and Daniel Rhodes, Ph.D., in Chinnaiyan's laboratory. COPA makes it possible for researchers to detect extremely high expression levels of outlier genes, or genes with characteristics outside the norm.

Using data from seven studies, they found SPINK1 was over-expressed in prostate cancer when compared to benign prostate cells, and that it was found exclusively in cancers that did not involve ERG or ETV1 gene fusions.

For more information:

Authors: In addition to Tomlins, Chinnaiyan and Rhodes, U-M researchers were from the Comprehensive Cancer Center, Michigan Center for Translational Pathology, Center for Computational Medicine and Biology, Department of Urology, Department of Biostatistics at the U-M School of Public Health, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

In addition to the U-M research team, authors of the paper are from Brigham and Women's Hospital; Harvard Medical School; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Institute of Pathology, University, Hospitals Ulm, Germany; rebro University Hospital, Sweden; Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland; and University Hospital UMAS, Lund University, Malm, Sweden.

Funding sources: The study and researchers are supported by the Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, Early Detection Research Network, Prostate Cancer Foundation, Clinical Translational Research Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation, Medical Scientist Training Program, SPORE from the National Cancer Institute, and numerous international organizations.

Disclosure: U-M has filed for a patent on prostate cancer gene fusions and SPINK1 as biomarkers of prostate cancer on which Chinnaiyan, Tomlins, Rhodes and Rohit Mehra are named as inventors. This technology has been licensed to Gen-Probe Inc. to develop molecular diagnostics for prostate cancer. Chinnaiyan serves as a consultant to Gen-Probe.

Contact: Katie Vloet
University of Michigan Health System

Related medicine news :

1. 2collab Survey Reveals That Scientists and Researchers are "All Business" With Social Applications
2. Researchers determine risk factors for infection after liver transplantation
3. Researchers ID Inflammation-Fighting Pathway in Fat Cells
4. Virginia Tech researchers find human virus in chimpanzees
5. Brown researchers work toward ending cartilage loss
6. NARSAD researchers identify specific genes and family traits linked to mental illnesses
7. Researchers identify proteins making up mechanosensitive ion channels
8. OHSU Cancer Institute researchers find novel chemo drug helps treat prostate cancer
9. UNC health researchers explore how to take interactive video games to the next level
10. OHSU Cancer Instutute researchers find abnormalities in gene for melanoma
11. Penn researchers gain new insights on spinal muscular atrophy
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... For the first time, Vitalalert ... Organizations, One Beat ” campaign. The partnership between the two groups began in 2014 ... MAP International’s cause. , MAP International was founded in 1954 and is an international ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... On November 25, 2015, officials of Narconon Arrowhead , the drug rehabilitation ... new cutting edge recovery program that has been 50 years in the making. ... with the purpose to free addicts from the symptoms and negative behaviors of addiction. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... Smiles by Stevens is pleased to announce the addition of Botox® for ... aware of the benefits of Botox® in the treatment of moderate facial wrinkling, few ... and pain as a result of Jaw Tension, TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) disorder, and Bruxism ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... In an ongoing Clinical Study conducted by an ... IL, UV Angel is evaluating the efficacy of its product and its disinfection protocol. ... 30 beds) from May 2014 through October 2015 at a 360-bed, acute-care, academic medical ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Spring, Md (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 ... ... Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) announces the nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible ... history of this disease. The Periwinkle Pioneers, nominated by the public, will receive ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Kitov Pharma ceuticals ... a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of therapeutic ... today announced the closing of its previously announced underwritten ... ), each representing 20 ordinary shares of the Company, ... ADSs and warrants were issued in a fixed combination ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  Today AVACEN Medical announced the issue of United States patent No. ... ". This patent shields the company,s AVACEN 100 dry heat therapy medical device and specific methods ... Photo - ... ... ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 USP 800 ... drug preparations (e.g. pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses, physicians, ... technicians). The chapter also covers all entities which ... pharmacies, hospitals, other healthcare institutions, patient treatment clinics, ... --> --> What is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: