Researchers identify biomarkers targeting prostate cancer recurrence

June 26, 2008

A panel of seven biomarkers can predict with 86% accuracy which prostate cancer patients will experience recurrence and progression of prostate cancer, researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas reported in Clinical Cancer Research (2008; 14:3785-91).

A panel of seven biomarkers can predict with 86% accuracy which prostate cancer patients will experience recurrence and progression of prostate cancer, researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas reported in Clinical Cancer Research (2008; 14:3785-91).

“There are several unresolved issues in the clinical and surgical management of prostate cancer, one of them being the identification of men who have insignificant cancers and can be followed, and another being the identification of men most likely to have spread of disease and early or late recurrence,” said study co-author Claus Roehrborn, MD. “In the future, once we can reliably identify those patients, we may be able to offer additional treatment to counteract that risk and give those men a better chance for a permanent cure.”

Using common blood testing methods, first author Shahrokh Shariat, MD, and colleagues measured levels of seven biomarkers in 423 patients who were then surgically treated with a radical prostatectomy and bilateral lymphadenectomy. Of the participants, 75 had a cancer recurrence and elevated levels of several of the seven biomarkers.

“A prediction tool based on the biomarkers we tested could improve the accuracy of standard models and help doctors counsel patients better about their risk for prostate cancer recurrence and help to determine the course of treatment,” Dr. Shariat said.

Future plans include exploring the role of these biomarkers in patients treated with other therapies, such as radiation, and patients with a different range of disease severity.