Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancer types affecting males in the United States and globally. Prostate cancers that contain more of a specific type of cell are more likely to be life-threatening, a new study has found. The research could lead to a test to differentiate between aggressive and harmless forms of the disease.
New research identifies a type of prostate cancer cell that could make the tumors more aggressive.
According to the American Cancer Society, around 1 in 9 men will receive a diagnosis of the disease in their lifetime. However, only 1 in 41 of those diagnosed will die as a result of it.
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In many cases, doctors cannot determine the severity of a personís cancer.
Doctors use the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test to screen older men for prostate cancer.
Studies suggest that population-wide PSA screening is worthwhile, reducing overall mortality from prostate cancer by 21%.
Nonetheless, the majority of prostate cancers that doctors diagnose as a result of PSA tests progress slowly and do not spread to other parts of the body. As a result, these men will usually die in old age of something else.
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Ideally, doctors would reserve the more radical treatments, such as surgery and radiotherapy, for those men with the most aggressive cancers.
Types of prostate cancer cell
Prostate tumors contain a variety of cell types, each posing a different level of risk.
The UEA scientists set out to develop a classification system for the most common cell types based on patterns of gene activity, known as gene expression pattern.
Their previous research used some complex math called Latent Process Decomposition to identify the unique molecular signature of an aggressive expression pattern they call DESNT.
In their new work, they analyzed patterns of gene expression in 1,785 tumor samples. They then correlated the amount of DESNT in each tumor sample with the outcome of the disease for that individual.
The researchers found that the more DESNT cells a sample contained, the more likely it was that the cancer would metastasize.
At the same time, the researchers identified three other prostate cancer molecular subtypes, making it a total of four categories of gene expression patterns in prostate cancer.
Online Int’l News with additional input by GVS News Desk