Seven biomarkers that may help predict prostate cancer recurrence in patients after surgery have been identified by scientists from University of Texas Southwestern.
Biomarkers are proteins circulating in a patient's blood that are specific to a disease.
Currently used risk assessment methods can predict prostate cancer recurrence with about 70 percent accuracy.
Dr Shahrokh Shariat, now a resident in urology at UT Southwestern revealed that with these newly identified biomarkers he was able to predict recurrence and progression with 86 percent accuracy.
Using commonly available blood testing methods, Dr. Shariat and his team measured the levels of seven biomarkers in 423 patients who were subsequently surgically treated with a radical prostatectomy and bilateral lymphadenectomy.
"There are several unresolved issues in the clinical and surgical management of prostate cancer, one of them being the identification of men who have insignificant cancers and can be followed, and another being the identification of men most likely to have spread of disease and early or late recurrence," said Dr. Claus Roehrborn, chairman of urology at UT Southwestern.
Of the study participants, 75 had a recurrence of their cancer. All 75 had elevated levels of at least several of the seven biomarkers. Dr. Shariat's seven-biomarker model was able to accurately predict the risk for recurrence 86.6 percent of the time.
"We found that a combination of independent yet complementary markers may provide a more accurate prediction outcome compared to single markers," Shariat said.
"This could help physicians provide individualized care and targeted therapy for patients. It will also allow us to design clinical trials to target these individual biomarkers," he added.
The study is published in the June 15 issue of Clinical Cancer Research