New prostate cancer aggressiveness test

Researchers at the University of East Anglia have developed a new categorisation for prostate cancer that could predict more accurately which ones are aggressive.

They analysed databases of gene activity in different prostate cancer samples and compared this to how the cancers responded to treatment. Using a computer algorithm to find a pattern of gene activity linked to aggressiveness, they identified a set of 45 genes that are less active in more aggressive cancers. In the paper published in the journal European Urology Focus, the researchers designated cancers that match this pattern ‘DESNT’.

Currently the Gleason score is used as a guide to how a particular cancer may progress.

Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK said: ‘Currently, too many men receive treatments and endure life-changing side-effects for cancers that may never cause them harm. These research results are important because they add crucial information that will help us build a more complete picture of what makes some prostate cancers aggressive. This will undoubtedly help us provide an earlier and more accurate diagnosis and in turn inform us how best to treat the disease.’

For more information on research at the University of East Anglia click here.  

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