Genetic test could identify aggressive prostate cancers
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A new test - looking at three genes - could predict which prostate cancers will turn aggressive, helping avoid invasive treatments for those that will grow more slowly, a study out Wednesday said.
Used alongside existing tests, the analysis will help doctors determine whether treatment is needed or if "active surveillance" would suffice, Columbia University researchers said in the study in Science Translational Medicine.
"Most of the 200,000 prostate cancers diagnosed each year in the US are slow growing and will remain so, but the three-gene biomarker could take much of the guesswork out of the diagnostic process and ensure that patients are neither overtreated nor undertreated," said study leader Cory Abate-Shen.
"The problem with existing tests is that we cannot identify the small percentage of slow-growing tumors that will eventually become aggressive and spread beyond the prostate," said coauthor Mitchell C. Benson.