In a breakthrough discovery, researchers have identified a gene that can help doctors predict the aggressiveness of prostate cancer in patients.
Researchers at the University of Glasgow and Royal Philips Cancer have analyzed 1,475 patient samples to understand the expression of a gene called PDE4D7. The gene offers insights about the aggressiveness of prostate cancer and also paves way for more effective personalized treatment for these patients.
‘Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and claims about 11,000 lives every year in the UK.’
Professor George Baillie, of the University of Glasgow, said, "Prostate cancer, like any other cancer, is a genetic disease which is driven by the activation of cancer-causing oncogenes and at the same time by inactivation of tumor-suppressor genes."
The gene also helps in reducing the number of unnecessary prostate cancer surgeries. It also predicts about the recurrence of the disease after treatment. The findings have been published in the British Journal of Cancer
People who are suffering with prostate cancer need early and aggressive therapy and who are at lower-risk need much milder treatments. Therefore, the gene acts as a biomarker for determining the type of treatment required. This in turn could prevent thousands of unnecessary surgeries every year.
Dr Ralf Hoffmann, of Philips Research Eindhoven, said, "Treating prostate cancer today leads to significant side effects for patients which inevitably impact on their quality of life. This breakthrough, therefore, offers hope for many thousands and may have the potential to reduce the unnecessary treatment of non-aggressive prostate cancer. Additionally, those with an aggressive form of the disease might benefit from the development of innovative therapies in the future."