Prostate Cancer Treatment May Get More Accurate
Scientists have identified a biomarker that will eventually help physicians distinguish between different kinds of prostate cancer and treat them accordingly.
A study conducted at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, discovered a set of genes that could accurately predict how sever the illness was in cases of “castration-resistant prostate cancer.” That term refers to a form of the disease that doesn’t respond to a lowering of androgen levels. Androgen is the male hormone.
The severity of castration-resistant prostate cancer differs from patient to patient, making it difficult for physicians to decide on the most effective treatment. But in the study, patients who had a nine-gene pattern survived an average of 9.2 months after treatment, while patients who didn’t have that pattern lived 21.6 months beyond treatment.
In a separate study, researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston found a different set of genes with a similar ability to distinguish between prostate-cancer cancers. Those who had the genes survived 7.8 months after treatment, while those who didn’t survived at least 34.9 months.
The findings of both studies were published in the British medical journal “The Lancet.”