Guilt by association: Scientists nab suspects in prostate cancer

December 27, 1999

Doctors don't enjoy prostate exams any more than patients do, but they perform them for two good reasons. First, prostate cancer kills 40,000 American men annually, and second, blood tests for the disease are imperfect, diagnosing positive in some healthy men and missing genuine cancer in others. In the December issue of Genome Research, Michael Walker (Incyte Pharmaceuticals and Stanford University), Tod Klinger (Incyte), and colleagues take a step towards better diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer with the identification of new disease-associated genes.

In the standard blood test for prostate cancer, doctors look for high levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), an enzyme produced in the prostate and one of several genes associated with the disease. Although the biology of prostate cancer is poorly understood, Walker and colleagues reasoned that genes mimicking the activity of PSA and other prostate cancer genes would themselves be likely culprits in the disease. Following the trail, the researchers used a statistical method called guilt-by-association to comb gene "libraries" for suspects activating in conjunction with known prostate cancer genes. This method identified eight previously unknown genes associated with prostate cancer, a result that should spur development of better diagnostic exams for doctors and patients alike.
-end-
Contact (author):

Michael Walker
Incyte Pharmaceuticals
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Fax: 650-855-0572
Email: mwalker@incyte.com

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Related Prostate Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

Low risk of cancer spread on active surveillance for early prostate cancer
Men undergoing active surveillance for prostate cancer have very low rates - one percent or less - of cancer spread (metastases) or death from prostate cancer, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Urology®, an Official Journal of the American Urological Association (AUA).

ESMO 2020: Breast cancer drug set to transform prostate cancer treatment
A drug used to treat breast and ovarian cancer can extend the lives of some men with prostate cancer and should become a new standard treatment for the disease, concludes a major trial which is set to change clinical practice.

Major trial shows breast cancer drug can hit prostate cancer Achilles heel
A drug already licensed for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancers is more effective than targeted hormone therapy at keeping cancer in check in some men with advanced prostate cancer, a major clinical trial reports.

The Lancet: Prostate cancer study finds molecular imaging could transform management of patients with aggressive cancer
Results from a randomised controlled trial involving 300 prostate cancer patients find that a molecular imaging technique is more accurate than conventional medical imaging and recommends the scans be introduced into routine clinical practice.

Common genetic defect in prostate cancer inspires path to new anti-cancer drugs
Researchers found that, in prostate cancer, a mutation leading to the loss of one allele of a tumor suppressor gene known as PPP2R2A is enough to worsen a tumor caused by other mutations.

First prostate cancer therapy to target genes delays cancer progression
For the first time, prostate cancer has been treated based on the genetic makeup of the cancer, resulting in delayed disease progression, delayed time to pain progression, and potentially extending lives in patients with advanced, metastatic prostate cancer, reports a large phase 3 trial.

Men taking medications for enlarged prostate face delays in prostate cancer diagnosis
University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers report that men treated with medications for benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) experienced a two-year delay in diagnosis of their prostate cancer and were twice as likely to have advanced disease upon diagnosis.

CNIO researchers confirm links between aggressive prostate cancer and hereditary breast cancer
The study has potential implications for families with members suffering from these types of tumours who are at an increased risk of developing cancer.

Distinguishing fatal prostate cancer from 'manageable' cancer now possible
Scientists at the University of York have found a way of distinguishing between fatal prostate cancer and manageable cancer, which could reduce unnecessary surgeries and radiotherapy.

Researchers find prostate cancer drug byproduct can fuel cancer cells
A genetic anomaly in certain men with prostate cancer may impact their response to common drugs used to treat the disease, according to new research at Cleveland Clinic.

Read More: Prostate Cancer News and Prostate Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.