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Better prognosis markers for prostate cancer found

Date:
February 19, 2010
Source:
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish)
Summary:
Measuring levels of the active form of the protein EGFR in the tumor and its vicinity can provide a more reliable prognosis for individuals with prostate cancer, according to new research.

Measuring levels of the active form of the protein EGFR in the tumor and its vicinity can provide a more reliable prognosis for individuals with prostate cancer. This is what Umeå University researcher Peter Hammarsten and his associates write in a study in the leading scientific journal Clinical Cancer Research.

One of the major problems with prostate cancer is that, with today's prognosis markers, some 70-80 percent of patients wind up in a group where very little can be said about their prognosis. Unfortunately, today no methods to are good enough determine which patients truly need treatment and which ones can get along fine without the difficult treatment. This in turn means that certain patients are over-treated with therapies that can lead to serious side effects and that other patients who really need intensive treatment do not get it or get it too late.

In a study recently published in the scientific journal Clinical Cancer Research, Hammarsten studied tissue biopsies from prostate tumors in 259 patients and found a new prognosis marker for prostate cancer. It is the active form of the protein EFGR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor) that was shown to provide information about the aggressiveness of the tumor, both when it is measured in the tumor or in the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.

EGFR belongs to the same family as the prognosis marker HER2, which is used today for breast cancer to determine the aggressiveness of a tumor that is to be treated with inhibitors of HER2, that is, the drug Herceptin. In a similar way, it may be possible in the future to use the active form of EGFR to select patients with a poor prognosis and are suitable for treatment with inhibitors of EGFR. In order to use EGFR as a prognosis marker clinically in the future, further studies will need to target its expressions in other and larger material in prostate tumors.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer form among men in Sweden. Every year some 10,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. Some 2,500 of them will die of their disease. In other words, some patients have an aggressive fatal disease, whereas others have a slowly growing tumor that will not cause any major problems.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Peter Hammarsten, Amar Karalija, Andreas Josefsson, Stina Häggström Rudolfsson, Pernilla Wikström, Lars Egevad, Torvald Granfors, Pär Stattin and Anders Bergh. Low Levels of Phosphorylated Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor in Nonmalignant and Malignant Prostate Tissue Predict Favorable Outcome in Prostate Cancer Patients. Clinical Cancer Research, 2010; 16 (4): 1245 DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-09-0103

Cite This Page:

Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). "Better prognosis markers for prostate cancer found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218092608.htm>.
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). (2010, February 19). Better prognosis markers for prostate cancer found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218092608.htm
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). "Better prognosis markers for prostate cancer found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218092608.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

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