New Biomarkers Found for Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Liquid biopsy analyzes the urine of patients who underwent digital rectal examinations.

Researchers in a new study discovered aggressive prostate cancer biomarkers through liquid biopsies.

"We believe we have found a better way that allows us to predict which patients have a slow-growing versus aggressive prostate cancer using non-invasive biomarkers,” researcher Thomas Kislinger, PhD. “This could eventually help us personalize cancer treatment for these patients.”

Needle biopsies, which are the current treatment, are used for diagnosis, but may not find hidden tumors or metastatic cancer, according to a study published in Nature Communications.

"A fluid-based biomarker would be ideal ... to spare patients with indolent (slow-growing) disease from unnecessary procedures, while identifying and treating those who would benefit from treatment intensification,” said lead author Yunee Kim, PhD.

Researchers analyzed urine samples that contained prostatic secretions collected from patients after they had digital rectal examinations (DRE), which helps to determine whether further testing is needed. The researchers used proteomics and identified proteins in the post-DRE urine samples, according to the study.

"Applying computational biology, we used the quantitative data from mass spectrometry to develop the fluid biomarkers for aggressive prostate cancer,” Dr Kislinger concluded. "The next step will be further studies with urine samples from 1,000 international patients to validate if the biomarkers identified have broader clinical utilities in prostate cancer."