Prostate Cancer Death Markers Identified

Markers identify patients who benefit from new and more aggressive prostate cancer treatments.

Investigators have identified markers for men with prostate cancer at high-risk of dying early.

For the study, investigators used data from a randomized trial of 206 men with prostate cancer treated with either radiation or radiation plus 6 months of hormonal therapy.

Early markers of prostate cancer death were compared to identify men at-risk of early death.

The results of the study, published in JAMA Oncology, showed a PSA nadir—– the absolute lowest level the PSA drops after treatment––greater than 0.5 ng/mL following radiation and androgen deprivation therapy appeared to identify men, prior to PSA failure, who were at high-risk of dying early due to treatment failure.

“By identifying and enrolling these men in clinical trials immediately, the hope is to take a prostate cancer that appears to be incurable and make it curable,” said corresponding author Trevor J. Royce, MD.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of male cancer death in the United States, and two-thirds of all prostate cancer deaths are men with localized disease who developed metastasis. In 2016, prostate cancer accounted for an estimated 26,000 deaths.

“This study’s results can have practice changing implications on how future prostate cancer trials are designed in terms of identifying the men for these studies who are at high-risk for early death due to ineffective initial treatment for their prostate cancer,” said senior author Anthony Victor D’Amico, MD, PhD.