Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hopkins Researchers Test New Molecular Marker For Prostate Cancer

Date:
April 18, 2002
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Hopkins cancer researchers have identified a new genetic culprit-with dietary links-in the initiation of prostate cancer. Cells taken from prostate cancers show a nine-fold increase in expression by a gene called AMACR (x-methylacyl-CoA racemase), a team of Hopkins investigators report.

Hopkins cancer researchers have identified a new genetic culprit-with dietary links-in the initiation of prostate cancer. Their findings are reported in the April 15, 2002, issue of Cancer Research.

Related Articles


Cells taken from prostate cancers show a nine-fold increase in expression by a gene called AMACR (x-methylacyl-CoA racemase), a team of Hopkins investigators report. "This gene appears to play an important role in breakdown of branched chain fatty acid molecules such as those found in dairy products and beef," says William B. Isaacs, Ph.D., professor of urology and oncology at the Brady Urological Institute and Kimmel Cancer Center* at Johns Hopkins, and senior author of this study.

The Hopkins scientists caution that the link, if any, between increased expression of AMACR and eating beef and dairy foods is unclear and is the focus of ongoing research. The fatty acid molecules metabolized by an enzyme made by the AMACR gene are low in chicken and most fish. Several studies have shown diets high in red meat to be associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.

"What we've learned about AMACR could not only serve as an excellent early marker for prostate cancer but also could identify new dietary or chemical means of preventing the disease," says Angelo M. De Marzo, M.D., Ph.D., co-author of the study and assistant professor of pathology, oncology, and urology at Johns Hopkins.

In the current study, Hopkins researchers used a comprehensive "gene chip" approach to simultaneously analyze the expression of more than 6500 genes and found that the AMACR gene was overexpressed in prostate cancers. They confirmed this by examining 168 prostate cancer tumors using a tissue microarray that rapidly evaluates gene expression. Using automated computer technology, researchers displayed the tissue microarrays to speed up the identification of relationships among genes and changes in normal and cancer cells.

More than 95 percent of the tumors analyzed showed overexpression of the AMACR gene, making it one of the most consistent biological markers known for prostate cancer. Similar overexpression patterns were found in precancerous lesions, called high grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia.

"Since AMACR enzymatic activity is not found in most normal tissues, it could be an excellent candidate for the development of molecular probes for non-invasive detection of prostate cancer and as a potential drug target," says June Luo, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins and lead author of the study.

The AMACR gene was first revealed in the last two years as a potential prostate cancer marker by researchers at the Corixa Corporation and then at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. Since then, it has been independently identified by the Hopkins group and a research team at the University of Michigan.

The search for better prostate cancer diagnostic tools is driven in part by uncertain outcomes of needle biopsies. "As many as 15 percent of needle biopsies are inconclusive and must be repeated," says De Marzo. A prostate needle biopsy is an uncomfortable procedure that requires repeated needles to be placed through the rectum into the prostate to retrieve prostate cells for examination under the microscope. "Markers that can enhance diagnostic accuracy the first time are urgently needed," he adds.

The Hopkins group currently is studying the effectiveness of using AMACR in combination with a more commonly prostate cancer-associated gene, p63, to evaluate prostate needle biopsies.

This research was funded by the Peter J. Sharpe Foundation, the Charlotte Geyer Foundation and the National Cancer Institute.

In addition to Drs. De Marzo Isaacs and Luo, other Hopkins participants in this research include Shan Zha, Welsey R. Gage, Thomas A. Dunn, Jessica L. Hicks, Christina J. Bennett, Charles M. Ewing, and Elizabeth A. Platz. This work was done in collaboration with Sacha Ferdinandusse and Ronald J. Wanders, Ph.D., from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Jeffrey M. Trent, Ph.D., from the National Human Genome Research Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Hopkins Researchers Test New Molecular Marker For Prostate Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 April 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020417065836.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2002, April 18). Hopkins Researchers Test New Molecular Marker For Prostate Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020417065836.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Hopkins Researchers Test New Molecular Marker For Prostate Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020417065836.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

AFP (Jan. 25, 2015) The World Health Organization&apos;s chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins