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 July 28, 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 July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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