Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Barcode' blood test for aggressive prostate cancer developed

Date:
October 9, 2012
Source:
Institute of Cancer Research
Summary:
Scientists have designed a blood test that reads genetic changes like a barcode -- and can pick out aggressive prostate cancers by their particular pattern of gene activity. A research team found reading the pattern of genes switched on and off in blood cells could accurately detect which advanced prostate cancers had the worst survival.

Scientists have designed a blood test that reads genetic changes like a barcode -- and can pick out aggressive prostate cancers by their particular pattern of gene activity.

A team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust found reading the pattern of genes switched on and off in blood cells could accurately detect which advanced prostate cancers had the worst survival.

And the researchers believe the blood test could eventually be used alongside the existing PSA test at diagnosis to select patients who need immediate treatment.

The test, described in The Lancet Oncology today (Oct. 9), is unique because it assesses changes in the pattern of gene activity in blood cells triggered by a tumour elsewhere in the body.

Lead author Professor Johann de Bono, leader of the prostate cancer targeted therapy team at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), and honorary consultant at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Prostate cancer is a very diverse disease -- some people live with it for years without symptoms but for others it can be aggressive and life-threatening -- so it's vital we develop reliable tests to tell the different types apart.

"We've shown it is possible to learn more about prostate cancers by the signs they leave in the blood, allowing us to develop a test that is potentially more accurate than those available now and easier for patients than taking a biopsy. Our test reads the pattern of genetic activity like a barcode, picking up signs that a patient is likely to have a more aggressive cancer. Doctors should then be able to adjust the treatment they give accordingly."

Researchers scanned all the genes present in blood samples from 100 patients with prostate cancer at the ICR's and The Royal Marsden's joint Drug Development Unit in London and The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow. They included 69 patients with advanced cancer and 31 control patients thought to have low-risk, early-stage cancer, who were being managed by active surveillance.

Using statistical modelling, they divided the patients into four groups reflecting their pattern of gene activity -- the barcode. When they reviewed all the patients' progress after almost two-and-a-half years, they found patients in one group had survived for significantly less time than patients in the others. Further modelling identified nine key active genes that were shared by all patients in the group.

They confirmed the results in another 70 US patients with advanced cancer, showing that just these nine genes could be used to accurately identify those who ultimately survived for a shorter time -- 9.2 months compared with 21.6 months for patients without the gene pattern. The genes included a number involved in the immune system -- suggesting the immune system was suppressed in patients whose cancers were spreading around the body.

Professor Alan Ashworth, chief executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, said: "Whether particular genes are active or not is an important clue in identifying patients with a poor prognosis. This latest study shows that it is possible to read these patterns of gene activity like a barcode, allowing scientists to spot cancers that are likely to be more aggressive."

Professor Martin Gore, medical director at The Royal Marsden, said: "Personalised medicine is the future of cancer treatment. This blood test, which reads genetic changes in prostate cancer providing a prediction of how aggressive the cancer might be, is an important development, allowing us to better tailor treatment to suit each individual."

The study received funding from AstraZeneca, Prostate Cancer UK (formerly the Prostate Cancer Charity) and the Prostate Cancer Foundation, while the Drug Development Unit also receives funding from Cancer Research UK and the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre network.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. David Olmos, Daniel Brewer, Jeremy Clark, Daniel C Danila, Chris Parker, Gerhardt Attard, Martin Fleisher, Alison HM Reid, Elena Castro, Shahneen K Sandhu, Lorraine Barwell, Nikhil Babu Oommen, Suzanne Carreira, Charles G Drake, Robert Jones, Colin S Cooper, Howard I Scher, Johann S de Bono. Prognostic value of blood mRNA expression signatures in castration-resistant prostate cancer: a prospective, two-stage study. The Lancet Oncology, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(12)70372-8

Cite This Page:

Institute of Cancer Research. "'Barcode' blood test for aggressive prostate cancer developed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009093220.htm>.
Institute of Cancer Research. (2012, October 9). 'Barcode' blood test for aggressive prostate cancer developed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009093220.htm
Institute of Cancer Research. "'Barcode' blood test for aggressive prostate cancer developed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009093220.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. 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