Men whose prostate cancer screenings show high grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HG-PIN) may find themselves in limbo, “stuck” between diagnoses—they are told prostate cancer has not yet developed, but it might, and they are advised to undergo repeated needle biopsies as a precaution. Investigators from Spain have found a means of distinguishing between HG-PIN lesions destined to become cancerous and those which will remain benign. Their findings, reported in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, could spare patients the discomfort and inconvenience of unnecessary needle biopsies.
The Spanish team found that expression of the PTOV1 gene in HG-PIN lesions is linked to prostate cancer development, and that the higher the expression, the more likely it is that subsequent biopsies will find cancer. The reverse is also true-lack of PTOV1 reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
“This is the first HG-PIN biomarker to be associated with prostate cancer development,” said the study’s lead author, Rosanna Paciucci, PhD, a researcher at the Vall d´Hebrón Hospital Research Institute in Barcelona. She says that when the results of this study are validated, the PTOV1 gene marker could be used to determine which men with HG-PIN are at substantial risk of developing prostate cancer.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery