Their research, reported in the current edition of the British Journal of Cancer, could lead to more effective personalised treatment for prostate cancer andsignificantly reduce the number of unnecessary prostate cancer surgeries.
Prostate cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the, claiming the lives of approximately 11,000 men each year1.
It is also the most common cancer in men in the UK, accounting for a quarter ofall new cases of cancer in males – around 42,000 each year in total.
They examined 1,475 patient samples to learn more about the expression of a particular gene, known as PDE4D7.
They found that the gene provided a valuable insight into the aggressiveness of prostatecancer and the likely recurrence of the disease after treatment.
Professor George Baillie, of the University of Glasgow, said: “Prostate cancer, like any other cancer, is a genetic disease which is driven by the activation ofcancer-causing oncogenes and at the same time by inactivation of tumor-suppressor genes. The gene we examined acts as a more effective biomarker topredict the aggressiveness of patients‘ prostate cancer than any others whichhave been used before.”Men at risk of dying from prostate cancer need earlyand aggressive therapy for optimal care.
Those with lower-risk forms of the disease could receive more benefit frommuch milder forms of treatments.
This biomarker gives us a much more reliable way of determining which form oftreatment patients require, which could prevent thousands of unnecessary surgeries every year.
“ Dr Ralf Hoffmann, of Philips Research Eindhoven, said: “Treating prostatecancer today leads to significant side effects for patients which inevitably impacton their quality of life.
This breakthrough offers hope for many thousands and may have the potentialto reduce the unnecessary treatment of non-aggressive prostate cancer.