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Urine Test May One Day Predict Prostate Cancer
Date:2/11/2009

Lab results identify component linked to aggressiveness of disease,,,,

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A simple urine test that identifies small molecules, called metabolites, that are associated with prostate cancer might someday be able to identify men who have a fast-moving, aggressive form of the disease, University of Michigan researchers report.

They say such a test could help identify those who need aggressive treatment and might one day lead to the development of new therapies.

"There are metabolites that might be useful in predicting aggressiveness of prostate cancer," said lead researcher Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan, director of the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology and a professor of pathology and urology.

"Metabolites, similar to genes and proteins, should also be measured in understanding cancer," he said. "They have been under-appreciated relative to genes being profiled in cancer. This approach could be extended to other cancers."

However, before a urine test involving metabolites could become standard medical practice, it would have to be tested in animals and then in people through clinical trials, Chinnaiyan said.

The findings were expected to be published in the Feb. 12 issue of Nature.

For the study, Chinnaiyan's group analyzed 1,126 metabolites from 262 tissue, blood and urine samples taken from men with early, advanced and metastatic prostate cancer. From these samples, the researchers identified 10 metabolites that frequently appeared with prostate cancer and especially with advanced prostate cancer.

One of the 10 metabolites, called sarcosine, was the most indicative of advanced prostate cancer, the researchers found. Sarcosine levels were elevated in 79 percent of the samples from men with metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread) and in 42 percent of the samples from men with early stage disease, the researchers found.

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