Antibody detects common malignant tissue changes in PCa

August 12, 2010

A highly specific assay for the detection of a protein associated with tumor formations present in nearly two-thirds of all prostate cancers has shown what researchers are calling unprecedented specificity (99.99%) for detecting prostate tumor cells in tissue specimens.

A highly specific assay for the detection of a protein associated with tumor formations present in nearly two-thirds of all prostate cancers has shown what researchers are calling unprecedented specificity (99.99%) for detecting prostate tumor cells in tissue specimens.

"We are excited about the potential of streamlining the detection of prostate cancer in clinical specimens," said co-author Shiv Srivastava, MD, of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences’ Center for Prostate Disease Research, Bethesda, MD. "This protein, ERG, is one of the common biologically relevant markers in prostate cancer, and our protein-based test represents an incremental advance in the right directions to resolve some of the key issues faced in prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment."

In their study, co-led by Dr. Srivastava and Isabell Sesterhenn, MD, of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, in collaboration with researchers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, provides first insights into how and where ERG protein is present in prostate tissues by developing a comprehensive map of whole-mount prostate sections of more than 130 patients. The team established the selective presence of ERG in malignant cells and the virtual absence of ERG in normal cells.

"This notable advancement in the field has been possible only because this type of assay is routinely used in pathology settings," said co-author Albert Dobi, PhD, of the Center for Prostate Disease Research. "We anticipate this strategy will open new opportunities in clinical evaluation of prostate cancer worldwide."

Findings from the study were published online in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases (June 29, 2010).