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Protein patterns may aid prostate cancer detection

CHAPEL HILL - A test that detects a specific pattern of proteins in blood may distinguish benign prostate conditions from prostate cancer more effectively than the current biomarker for the disease: protein specific antigen, or PSA.

According to a report in Wednesday's (Oct. 16) issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the test detected 95 percent of prostate cancer cases from a single drop of blood from each patient. Moreover, it helped rule out prostate cancer for 71 percent of men with intermediate PSA scores (four-10), which would have allowed them to avoid an unnecessary, invasive biopsy procedure. Currently, most men with PSA scores between four and 10 are recommended for a biopsy, even though 75 percent to 80 percent of them do not have prostate cancer.

"This new technology has the potential to revolutionize how men are diagnosed with prostate cancer," said Dr. David K. Ornstein, a co-author of the study, assistant professor of surgery and a member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"It's likely that it will be possible to use a simple blood test to accurately identify men who are affected with a harmful prostate cancer but spare healthy men from undergoing unnecessary biopsies."

In the new study, Ornstein and collaborators from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration- National Cancer Institute Clinical Proteomics Program and Correlogic Systems Inc. in Bethesda, Md., used similar artificial intelligence bioinformatics technology to that employed in a recently reported ovarian cancer test.

Here the method was used to analyze serum samples from men with prostate cancer and men with benign prostate conditions.

The researchers identified a proteomic pattern, or "computational disease model," that best discriminated between these conditions. The pattern was then tested to determine how well it predicted disease in 266 men known to have either prostate
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Contact: L.H. Lang
llang@med.unc.edu
919-843-9687
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
15-Oct-2002


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