Recent reviews, reports and research on genes and biomarkers relating to prostate cancer

Genes related to prostate cancer risk. In a Medscape Urology article dated 16 September 2014, Alexander M Castellino MD reports that: “.. a large meta-analysis that included 87,040 individuals has identified 23 new genetic variants for prostate cancer susceptibility, bringing the total number of common genetic variants linked to prostate cancer to 100. Together, these 100 genetic variants may explain 33% of inherited risk for prostate cancer in European men, and there is hope that they may eventually be useful in a screening test...The new findings come from a huge global research effort led by scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, and the University of Southern California. The study was published online in Nature Genetics on September 14 2014.” The September 2014 article provides details about the meta-analysis and it can be read here or here:  

New biomarkers for detection of prostate cancer
. A 15 February 2014 article in CancerNetwork Oncology written by E David Crawford et al provides a review of recent advances in identification of prostate cancer biomarkers. The abstract of the article states: "Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most commonly diagnosed male cancer in the United States. The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) biomarker has been widely used to screen men for prostate cancer. Challenges of PSA cancer- specific sensitivity and specificity exist; fortunately, a new generation of PCa biomarkers is emerging, consisting of serum-, urine-, and tissue-based assays that may supplement PSA testing, or replace it over time. The identification and development of these biomarkers have been facilitated, in large part, by new genomic technologies that have enabled an additional interpretation of the individual patient’s tumor biology. Several biomarkers with specific indications for disease diagnosis, prediction, prognosis, and therapeutic response are now commercially available. Furthermore, genomic assays may now stratify the risk of aggressive PCa at the time of diagnosis. In this article, we review recent advances in the discovery of PCa biomarkers, their integration into clinical practice, and implications for improving clinical management of the disease." The full article can be read here or here:

Four-Gene Signature Predicts Aggressive Prostate Cancer
. An article dated 17 February 2011 in CancerNetwork summarises a study by Lynda Chin reported in Nature Online in these words: “... researchers describe a four-gene signature that was more accurate than the standard Gleason score test in predicting which patients would die from metastatic spread of their prostate cancer. The Gleason score is about 60% to 70% accurate in predicting whether a man’s prostate cancer will become aggressive. In the Nature study, the four-gene signature alone was 83% accurate in making this prediction, and 92% accurate when combined with the Gleason score.” The article is here or here:

New prognostic signature for prostate cancer may help in treatment decisions. In a CancerNetwork article by Anna Azvolinsky dated 15 February 2011 she indicates that “Researchers at the Queen Mary U. of London and a team of collaborators have identified a genetic signature among prostate tumors that may help determine the best course of treatment for patients. The results of the study will be published in the March 2011 issue of Lancet Oncology.... A molecular diagnostics company, Myriad Genetics, based in Salt Lake City, Utah already has a commercial diagnostics test that tests the level of 46 CCP genes that was utilized in the University of London study. If these published results are confirmed in other trials such as adjuvant radiation, androgen deprivation, and novel systemic treatments, the test could soon be commonly used to estimate the risk of prostate cancer outcome and reoccurrence.” The article is here or here:

Biomarkers in prostate cancer surveillance and screening. In a Medscape Urology article is reported a review undertaken by K C Cary and M R Cooperberg appearing in Theoretical Advanced Urology 2013;5(6). The abstract states: "The use of biomarkers for prostate cancer (PCa) screening, detection, and prognostication have revolutionized the diagnosis and management of the disease. Current clinical practice has been driven largely by the utilization of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). The lack of specificity of PSA for PCa has led to both unnecessary biopsies and overdiagnosis of indolent cancers. The recent controversial recommendation by the United States Preventive Services Task Force against PCa screening has highlighted the need for novel clinically useful biomarkers. We review the literature on PCa biomarkers in serum, urine, and tissue. While these markers show promise, none seems poised to replace PSA, but rather may augment it. Further validation and consideration of how these novel markers improve clinical outcome is necessary. The discovery of new genetic markers shows promise in stratifying men with aggressive PCa." The abstract is published here: or here:

Biomarker may predict which prostate cancers require treatment. In a Cancernetwork article dated 11 September 2013, Anna Azvolinzky reports research conducted by Cory Abate-Shen et al at Columbia University. Azvolinsky states that the researchers have: "...identified a 3-gene signature that could indicate whether a particular early-stage prostate cancer is indolent. The test relies on a tissue sample, and along with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and a histology assessment, could help clinicians make an accurate diagnosis. The early results, including a blinded retrospective analysis of 43 patients, show that the signature can accurately predict which patients with low-risk disease would develop metastatic prostate cancer and which patients would not progress." The genes involved are FGFR1, PMP22, and CDKN1A - all associated with ageing. Azvolinsky goes on to state that a trial to validate the genetic signature is underway at Columbia University, and a national trial (in the USA) is being planned. The article is here or here: