Prostate cancer develops in the prostate, which is a gland in the male reproductive system. The cancer occurs when the cells in the prostate gland grow out of control, and can be treated with surgery, cryotherapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and radiation. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer type in men, and in the U.S. alone, more than 200,000 new cases and about 30,000 deaths are attributed to prostate cancer each year. Prostate cancer in its early stages can be wholly cured, and luckily, about 85% of American men with prostate cancer are diagnosed in the early stages. But cancer that has spread beyond the prostate to tissues in other parts of the body (such as the lymph nodes, lungs and the bones) is not curable, but can often be controlled for many years.
As mentioned, it is very vital to detect the cancer at an early stage, and to diagnose the right treatment. Senior study author Charles Sawyers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) says; “One of the holy grails of prostate cancer is to identify which tumors need to be aggressively treated and which don’t. Ultimately, what we have learned could lead to the creation of a genetic-based test to determine which prostate cancers might become more virulent and require aggressive treatment and which tumors may not.” The difference between aggressive treatment and a “wait and watch” approach has of course quality-of-life implications for patients with prostate cancer.
During the study, the team from MSKCC used an integrated, comprehensive approach to analyze 218 primary and metastatic samples and 12 cell lines. All samples were procured from patients treated by radical prostatectomy at MSKCC. The analysis revealed a much higher requency of alterations in the androgen receptor pathway than previously suspected by scientists. The pattern of DNA copy number alterations identified also defined subsets of low-and high-risk disease beyond what has been previously revealed by Gleason score.
The study is a leap forward in treating each prostate cancer patient after his particular needs, and is published in the journal Cancer Cell.Path Breaking Method to Analyze Prostate Cancer Developed