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A Novel Diagnostic/Prognostic Marker and Therapeutic Target for Prostate Cancer

From:http://gtp.autm.net Time:2014.08.08

One of the critical goals of prostate cancer research is to identify the tumors that need to be aggressively treated. Unfortunately, after decades of intensive research, there is still no prognostic marker to distinguish indolent and aggressive tumors. Using unbiased bioinformatics analysis of a human prostate cancer gene expression data set, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have identified a Gene R that can be used as a diagnostic/prognostic marker and possibly a therapeutic target.

(Picture from http://en.wikipedia.org)

Gene R is not expressed in normal human prostate tissues or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). However, it is expressed in two-thirds of primary human prostate tumors at both mRNA and protein levels and thus can be used as a diagnostic marker. More importantly, Gene R positive prostate cancer patients showed longer disease-free survival, highlighting its prognostic value. Clinical treatment strategies can be personalized based on expression levels of Gene R alone or together with ERG (ETS-related gene), a well-known prostate cancer biomarker. The inventors report that patients with Gene R positive, ERG negative tumors have the best prognosis. These individuals may receive watchful waiting. On the other hand, individuals with Gene R negative ERG positive prostate tumors have the worst prognosis. These individuals need to be aggressively treated, such as radical prostatectomy. Last but not least, Gene R contains drug-targetable functional domains making it a potential therapeutic target for prostate cancer.


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