Elevated biomarkers predict risk for prostate cancer recurrence

June 26, 2008

A simple blood test screening for a panel of biomarkers can accurately predict whether a patient who has had prostate cancer surgery will have a recurrence or spread of the disease.

Calling their findings a major step forward in prostate cancer care, Texas researchers report in the June 15 issue of Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, that the presence of seven of these biomarkers can predict prostate cancer risk with 86.6 percent reliability. This is at least 15 percentage points higher than standard clinical measures currently in use, the researchers say.

"We have been looking at these biomarkers for the past 10 to 15 years in the laboratory, but now we can translate these findings into progress for the individual patient," said Shahrokh F. Shariat, M.D., chief resident in urology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Clinicians need this information to decide whether to take a "watchful waiting" approach with their prostate cancer patients or to move to more aggressive additional therapy such as hormone therapy, chemotherapy or radiation, Shariat says. Urologists currently use a risk predictor that includes variables like stage, Gleason score and serum levels of prostate-specific antigen. "However, this method is only accurate about 70 percent of the time, which is not optimal," Shariat said.

Shariat and colleagues enrolled 423 patients who were surgically treated for prostate cancer with either radical prostatectomy or bilateral lymphadenectomy.

Using commonly available blood tests, they measured levels of the following seven biomarkers: transforming growth factor-β1, interleukin-6, interleukin-6 soluble receptor, vascular endothelial growth factor, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, endoglin, urokinase plasminogen activator.

"We reviewed background literature over 60 separate biomarkers and determined that these were the optimal seven that would have predictive value," Shariat said.

Patients were followed for approximately four years, and researchers noted cancer recurrence in 17.7 percent of patients. Elevated levels of the seven biomarkers were associated with increased risk of relapse. For example, the presence of urokinase plasminogen inhibitor-1 increased risk by 37 percent, while the presence of vascular endothelial growth factor increased risk by 47 percent.

The combination of all seven biomarker variables accurately predicted risk 86.6 percent of the time in this study.

"This is a large and unique improvement for patient care. Neither preoperative MRI nor any of the clinical features we have used before even comes close to this level of accuracy," Shariat said.

Source: American Association for Cancer Research

Explore further: Epigenetic editing reveals surprising insights into early breast cancer development

Related Stories

Epigenetic editing reveals surprising insights into early breast cancer development

November 13, 2017
Changing the epigenetic code of a single gene is enough to cause a healthy breast cell to begin a chain reaction and become abnormal, according to research by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

Response after single treatment with canakinumab predicts which patients will benefit most

November 13, 2017
A new analysis seeks to answer the question of which patients are likely to gain the greatest cardiovascular benefit when treated with the anti-inflammatory agent canakinumab. At the 2017 American Heart Association Scientific ...

Three new lung cancer genetic biomarkers are identified in Dartmouth study

October 26, 2017
Both environmental and genetic risk factors contribute to development of lung cancer. Tobacco smoking is the most well-known environmental risk factor associated with lung cancer. A Dartmouth research team led by Yafang Li, ...

Test could detect early colorecral cancer-causing genetic biomarkers with high sensitivity

October 30, 2017
An investigational test that screens for colorectal cancer could detect genetic mutations that are indicative of the disease with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity, according to results of a study presented at ...

Common genetic fusion event may be associated with low-risk prostate cancer

November 10, 2017
Establishing the way in which a genetic alteration called a TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion forms in a prostate cancer, rather than the presence of the gene fusion itself, could help identify patients with prostate cancer with a ...

Blood test can effectively rule out breast cancer, regardless of breast density

October 26, 2017
A new study published in PLOS ONE demonstrates that Videssa Breast, a multi-protein biomarker blood test for breast cancer, is unaffected by breast density and can reliably rule out breast cancer in women with both dense ...

Recommended for you

Lung cancer triggers pulmonary hypertension

November 17, 2017
Shortness of breath and respiratory distress often increase the suffering of advanced-stage lung cancer patients. These symptoms can be triggered by pulmonary hypertension, as scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Heart ...

Researchers discover an Achilles heel in a lethal leukemia

November 16, 2017
Researchers have discovered how a linkage between two proteins in acute myeloid leukemia enables cancer cells to resist chemotherapy and showed that disrupting the linkage could render the cells vulnerable to treatment. St. ...

Computer program finds new uses for old drugs

November 16, 2017
Researchers at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have developed a computer program to find new indications for old drugs. The computer program, called DrugPredict, ...

Pharmacoscopy improves therapy for relapsed blood cancer in a first clinical trial

November 16, 2017
Researchers at CeMM and the Medical University of Vienna presented a preliminary report in The Lancet Hematology on the clinical impact of an integrated ex vivo approach called pharmacoscopy. The procedures measure single-cell ...

Wider sampling of tumor tissues may guide drug choice, improve outcomes

November 15, 2017
A new study focused on describing genetic variations within a primary tumor, differences between the primary and a metastatic branch of that tumor, and additional diversity found in tumor DNA in the blood stream could help ...

A new strategy for prevention of liver cancer development

November 14, 2017
Primary liver cancer is now the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide, and its incidences and mortality are increasing rapidly in the United Stated. In late stages of the malignancy, there are no effective ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.