Early detection of prostate cancer with emphasis on genetic markers - Abstract

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


The recent advances in genomic research have made it possible to identify several new genomic-based biomarkers for prostate cancer. In this review we evaluate these new markers and speculate about future scenarios.

Today 35 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been identified and independently validated to associate with prostate cancer. These SNPs are common in the population (>5%) but the effect of these SNPs in these regions on prostate cancer risk is modest with odds ratios typically ranging between 1.1 and 1.3. It is estimated that these markers explain 25% of the familial risk of prostate cancer. However, it is anticipated that additional 50-75 prostate cancer SNPs will be identified in the near future. The SNPs associated with prostate cancer so far are not associated with disease stage or outcome. There are several efforts to identify germline genetic markers that can be used as prognostic markers. There are also tumor-based methods that are promising in identifying new genetic markers that can be easily measured in plasma or urine.

There are several new "genetic" markers that in the near future might be used in clinical routine. These markers are easy to measure and stable over time. However the challenge is not only to identify new biomarkers but the real test is to validate new biomarkers in several large well-characterized patient populations. This validation must be done together will all other known biomarkers at the same time as it not likely that one single marker is enough, but a panel of different markers. Today 2010 there are over 19 000 publications in the area of biomarkers and prostate cancer, but only one biomarker, PSA, is used in the clinic today!

Written by:
Aly M, Wiklund F, Grönberg H.   Are you the author?

Reference: Acta Oncol. 2011 Jun;50 Suppl 1:18-23.
doi: 10.3109/0284186X.2010.529824

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21604936

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