Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers find better prostate cancer indicators

Identifying alterations in DNA methylation may also be useful in determining cancer progression
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have narrowed the search for effective prostate cancer biomarkers (genetic variations that point to a specific disease or condition), identifying changes in the expression of genes of the whole genome closely correlated to prostate cancer development and progression. They also showed that DNA hypermethylation (DNA modification without changing sequence) plays a significant role in these processes. Results of their study were published in the Feb. 15 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

"This is good news in an area where our ability to diagnose and predict has previously been less than stellar," said Krishna Donkena, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic urologic researcher. "Our only tool is the PSA test, which has little predictive value. These findings move us much closer to a more accurate test."

The search to identify biomarkers that can be translated into affordable and effective medical tests can be complicated. Prostate cancer causes differential expression of hundreds of different genes, each potentially an indicator of whether a man may get the disease, or already has it. They also may be used to provide information on the development of the cancer, without the need for a painful tumor biopsy.

When seeking to narrow their search to a manageable level, the researchers analyzed 32 cancerous and eight benign patient-tissue samples using genome microarrays representing 33,000 human genes. The information they gleaned from this analysis allowed them to identify 624 differentially-expressed genes between cancerous and benign tissue. They validated these findings in the original 40 tissue samples as well as in 32 additional samples (20 cancerous, 12 benign). The results showed eight genes with significant under-expression and three with significant over-expression, strongly implicating them in prostate cancer development and progression.

Over the years, research has shown that DNA methylation is commonly linked to the development and progression of cancers. This epi-genetic alteration results in silencing or seriously inhibiting gene expression, which in turn lessens the body’s ability to defend against cancer. Current research has not done enough to discover ways to convert this information into a useful medical test, in large part due to the limited number of genes that have been thoroughly studied, and their insufficient sensitivity and specificity (probability of getting a true positive or true negative) for prostate cancer detection.

Dr. Donkena’s team looked at 62 cancerous and 36 benign tissue samples to assess the degree of methylation in the three previously identified under-expressed genes, comparing two known methylated genes. They determined that one gene, PDLIM4, had hypermethylation that could serve as an effective sensitivity marker, accurately detecting prostate cancer 95 percent of the time. The researchers further determined that the combined measurement of a previously known gene, GSTP1, and PDLIM4 improved the detection rate to 98 percent.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for men in the United States, exceeded only by lung cancer. The sooner a cancer can be diagnosed, the better treatment outcomes will be, so Dr. Donkena and her colleagues are constantly looking for ways to predict who will get prostate cancer, as well as to find better ways to diagnose early or even prevent this disabling and often fatal disease. "We hope that in addition to being a valuable diagnostic and prognostic tool, our discoveries about these genes will help us develop new treatments for prostate cancer," she said.

Other Mayo researchers involved in this study include Karla Ballman, Ph.D.; Bruce Morlan; John Cheville, M.D.; Roxann Neumann; Michael Lieber, M.D.; Donald Tindall, Ph.D.; and Charles Young, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Zimmermann | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1
27.10.2016 | NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute

nachricht 'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape
27.10.2016 | International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>