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Other Highlights in the June 2 JNCI

Biomarker Could Help Detect Prostate Cancer
A new study shows how testing for an immune response to the prostate cancer biomarker alpha-methylacyl-CoA racemase (AMACR) could be used to help detect prostate cancer in men with intermediate prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.

Although PSA screening for prostate cancer has become widespread in the United States, the test has a high rate of false positives because benign diseases, such as prostate enlargement, can increase PSA levels. AMACR expression has been shown to be increased in prostate cancers, but AMACR levels in blood are too low to be detected.

To determine whether an immune response to AMACR could be used instead as a biomarker for prostate cancer, Arul M. Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, and colleagues used protein microarrays to look for an immune response to AMACR in patients with prostate cancer and in healthy control subjects. The patients with prostate cancer all had a higher immune response to AMACR compared with the control subjects. The authors suggest that the test may be useful in detecting prostate cancer and reducing the number of biopsies done, particularly in men who have intermediate PSA levels.

In an editorial, H. Ballentine Carter, M.D., and William B. Isaacs, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, write, "The value of the present study may be the proof of principle that screening for an immune response to cancer-specific antigens by using protein microarrays could lead to improved biomarkers of disease."

Contact: Sally Pobojewski, Senior Science Writer, University of Michigan Medical School, 734-764-2220, pobo@umich.edu

More Effective Method of PLK1 Gene Silencing Inhibits Tumor Growth
The therapeutic use of gene silencing through RNA interference with small interfering RNAs is limited because its effects last for at
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Contact: Sarah L. Zielinski
jncimedia@oupjournals.org
301-841-1287
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
1-Jun-2004


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