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Franclim R. Ribeiro, Manuel R.Teixeira and colleagues from Portugal and Norway, have previously found that it was possible, from biopsies samples, to do a full genome analysis which, in combination with the microscopic analyses, should allow a much more accurate tumour classification than by only measuring prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
In the research now published, the group of scientists show the possibilities of this new method by studying 61 patients with high levels of PSA and microscopic evidence of prostate cancer, to find that the total number of genomic aberrations found in these patient’s prostate cells is directly associated with cancer severity. A number of healthy individuals were also analysed and shown to have no genomic changes in their prostate cells, confirming the specificity of the patients’ findings.
Furthermore, Ribeiro, Teixeira and colleagues found that the gain of chromosomal material within the long arm of chromosome 8 was an accurate predictor of poor survival in prostate cancer patients. This was true even when patients were aggregated according to the tumour grade and disease stage, as in the case of patients with tumours with Gleason score 7. This is especially interesting as grade 7 tumours are known, not only by being very aggressive but also by being difficult to evaluate in terms of prognostic.
Teixeira and colleagues believe that the use of genomic analysis, together with the more standard methods now employed, can help to achieve better diagnoses by detecting more effectively both aggressive and less aggressive carcinomas. In the later case, correct diagnosis would allow doctors to chose to close monitoring the tumours, instead of rush into radical prostatectomy with its inherent psychological and health problems.
MEDICA.de; Source: Clinical Cancer Research