Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fusion Prostate Cancer: An Early Molecular Event Associated With Invasion

Date:
November 13, 2006
Source:
American Association For Cancer Research
Summary:
The presence of a gene fusion in prostate tumors is significantly associated with aggressive cancer, metastatic spread, and an increased probability of death, a team of researchers is reporting.

The presence of a gene fusion in prostate tumors is significantly associated with aggressive cancer, metastatic spread, and an increased probability of death, a team of researchers is reporting.

They say that the new gene, formed by the fusion of TMPRSS2 and ERG, may serve as a biomarker to separate patients who might benefit from radical prostate cancer therapy from those who potentially need little, if any, treatment.

"We believe this gene has the potential to be used as a diagnostic and prognostic test, which could offer thousands of patients peace of mind and spare them from unnecessary surgery and therapy," said the study's lead author, Sven Perner, M.D.,, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pathology at Harvard University's Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He worked with researchers from the Universities of California and Michigan, Johns Hopkins University and McGill University in Montreal.

Perner and his colleagues reported the discovery of the fused gene last year and they now say that TMPRSS2-ERG occurs in about 50 percent of prostate cancers - making it the most common genetic aberration in human cancer, and the first one found in a common solid cancer. Fused genes and chromosomal rearrangements have been found in several blood cancers, such as chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and in soft tissue tumors, such as Ewing's sarcoma, but these diseases are rare compared to prostate cancer, which is one of the leading cancers among American men.

In this study, the researchers sought to learn whether TMPRSS2-ERG is associated with a particular prostate cancer stage, and how it might be contributing to development of the cancer. They gathered 406 prostate tissue samples, representing a range of benign, precursor, and malignant prostate lesions, and used a FISH analysis to look for TMPRSS2-ERG. They didn't find any evidence of the fused gene in non-cancerous samples, but found it was present in 48.5 percent of localized prostate cancer tumors, 30 percent of hormone-naοve metastases, and in 33 percent of hormone refractory metastasis, as well as in about 20 percent of prostatic intraepithelial neoplasias, a lesion believed to be precursor of invasive prostate cancer.

The investigators also discovered that the gene fusion could occur in two different ways. The genes, TMPRSS2, which is regulated by the male sex-hormone androgen, and ERG, which is a potential oncogene, are located close to one another on chromosome 21. When fused, TMPRSS2 drives over-expression of the ERG gene. According to Perner, fusion can occur when the piece of DNA separating the genes breaks off and the genes merge (a process described as "fusion through deletion"), or if parts of each gene break off and switch positions ("translocation").

They found that TMPRSS2-ERG fusion through deletion was more common in the tumor samples as compared to TMPRSS2-ERG fusion through translocation. More recent work has found a significant association between TMPRSS2-ERG fusion and death from prostate cancer, although the researchers have not yet been able to determine which fusion form predicted the highest risk of death.

Perner says investigators are hoping to find a small molecule to inhibit the TMPRSS2-ERG fusion protein in the same way that the drug Gleevec has revolutionized care of CML.


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. "Fusion Prostate Cancer: An Early Molecular Event Associated With Invasion." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061112235506.htm>.
American Association For Cancer Research. (2006, November 13). Fusion Prostate Cancer: An Early Molecular Event Associated With Invasion. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061112235506.htm
American Association For Cancer Research. "Fusion Prostate Cancer: An Early Molecular Event Associated With Invasion." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061112235506.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) — Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) — The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) — A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) — All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
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