Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sensitive And Specific Biomarker For Early Detection Of Prostate Cancer Identified

Date:
September 27, 2006
Source:
American Association for Cancer Research
Summary:
Scientists at a Maryland-based pharmaceutical company have preliminary evidence showing that a protein in the blood may prove to be a biomarker that is more sensitive and specific than current methods of early detection for prostate cancer.

Scientists at a Maryland-based pharmaceutical company have preliminary evidence showing that a protein in the blood may prove to be a biomarker that is more sensitive and specific than current methods of early detection for prostate cancer.

If they're right, the protein -- an enzyme called human aspartyl (asparaginyl) beta-hydroxylase, or HAAH -- could ultimately help reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies for prostate cancer and may identify cancer at an earlier stage when treatment would have a higher likelihood of success.

Prostate cancer is expected to account for more than 234,000 new cases and about 27,000 deaths in the United States in 2006. The American Cancer Society recommends that all men over 50 be screened annually with two standard tests: the prostate specific antigen, or PSA, which measures a protein in the blood, and the digital rectal exam, or DRE, which entails a physical exam the prostate.

Yet the PSA and DRE can be inexact and, at times, not specific or sensitive to cancer. High PSA levels are found in both cancerous and healthy tissue, particularly in benign prostate disease, resulting in significant numbers of false positive cases. The DRE, based on physician touch and skill, relies on subjective judgment. As a result, a man who has prostate cancer can have both a normal PSA and DRE. Conversely, an individual with a high PSA and an abnormal DRE could be cancer-free.

"There is a great need for a test that increases the sensitivity and specificity of those two other tests for prostate cancer," said Stephen Keith, M.D., M.S.P.H., president and chief operating officer of Panacea Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Gaithersburg, MD.

Results were presented at the first meeting on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development, organized by the American Association for Cancer Research.

"Currently, if an individual has a high PSA and positive DRE, the recommendation is that he has a biopsy of the prostate, and more often than not -- by some estimates, as much as 80 percent of the time -- there will not be evidence of cancer," Dr. Keith said.

Yet, biopsies can be painful, expensive and difficult to perform, and may cause a high number of infections, noted Hossein Ghanbari, Ph.D., chief executive officer and chief scientific officer at Panacea.

According to Ghanbari, HAAH is overexpressed in at least 20 types of cancer tested to date, including liver, breast, ovarian, colon, esophageal, and prostate. It has been shown to be involved in tumor growth, invasiveness and cancer spread.

The researchers previously examined tissue from more than 20 different cancer types and compared them to more than 1,000 normal tissue types. Using immunohistochemistry techniques, they found that more than 99 percent of cancers were positive for HAAH. None of the normal issue samples were positive.

To find a more accurate way to detect prostate cancer, Ghanbari and his co-workers at Panacea developed a test in which they could detect HAAH in blood serum.

In the current work, Ghanbari and his co-workers compared HAAH levels in the blood of 16 individuals with prostate cancer to 23 healthy individuals. Those with prostate cancer showed high HAAH levels, whereas none of the normal control individuals did.

"We've learned that HAAH is generally detected in prostate cancer and not in normal prostate tissue, in addition to a number of other cancers," he said.

The scientists foresee the HAAH test used in conjunction with DRE and PSA testing. "We hope our HAAH blood test combined with PSA and DRE will increase the sensitivity and specificity of screening for prostate cancer," said Keith. "Those without cancer can avoid unnecessary biopsies through the use of all three screening tests."

"Having a positive DRE and high PSA, the HAAH would put the final stamp of approval," Ghanbari said.

Panacea scientists are planning clinical trials with prostate tissue samples from 800 patients, including 400 men with prostate cancer and 400 healthy individuals.

"The goal is to be able to take someone with increasing PSA numbers and a positive DRE, measure the HAAH level and look at biopsy results," Ghanbari said, "and be confident that HAAH provides the additional benefit in terms of specificity and sensitivity. The addition of HAAH should improve the prediction of who will have positive biopsy results for prostate cancer."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association for Cancer Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Association for Cancer Research. "Sensitive And Specific Biomarker For Early Detection Of Prostate Cancer Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060915203246.htm>.
American Association for Cancer Research. (2006, September 27). Sensitive And Specific Biomarker For Early Detection Of Prostate Cancer Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060915203246.htm
American Association for Cancer Research. "Sensitive And Specific Biomarker For Early Detection Of Prostate Cancer Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060915203246.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
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