Biomarker may signal aggressive prostate cancer

November 4, 2005

A new biomarker identified by researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, may indicate a more aggressive form of prostate cancer.

A new biomarker identified by researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, may indicate a more aggressive form of prostate cancer. In the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group-sponsored study, Alan Pollack, MD, and colleagues showed that the overexpression of a protein called MDM2 is a strong and independent predictor that the cancer will metastasize beyond the prostate gland and indicates an increased chance of death from the disease.

The study included 469 men treated with radiation and short- and long-term androgen deprivation therapy. Median follow-up was 70.5 months, and an immunohistochemical analysis was conducted on prostate tissue to determine the amount of MDM2 in the prostate cancer cells.

The team noted that while other biomarkers were associated with biochemical failure, distant metastasis, or overall mortality, MDM2 was consistently associated with all three outcomes. The biomarker was also associated with a doubling of distant metastasis and a nearly 10% reduction in 5-year survival.