Potential Marker of Aggressive Prostate Cancer, with Likelihood of Recurrence, Identified

Potential Marker of Aggressive Prostate Cancer, with Likelihood of Recurrence, Identified
The presence of molecular tags on a gene may be a new marker for predicting a prostate cancer's aggressiveness and likelihood of recurrence,  and help to identify those patients who would benefit from interventions, and spare those in need of continued monitoring from unnecessary treatment. The study, “PITX2 DNA Methylation as Biomarker for Individualized Risk Assessment of Prostate Cancer in Core Biopsies,” was published in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics. The gene in question, called PITX2, has previously been explored in breast and lung cancer, where studies have shown that its extensive methylation is linked to disease progression. Methylation — the attachment of chemical methyl groups to the DNA — is a cellular method of silencing a gene. Methylation of PITX2 gene has also been explored in prostate cancer, but earlier studies all looked at cancer recurrence after surgical removal of the prostate. This time, researchers looked at tissue biopsies gathered before surgery to identify the marker — meaning a simple biopsy might be sufficient for patients as well. To explore if the molecular labeling of the gene could serve as a biomarker for aggressive cancer in these patients, researchers compared a variety of tissue samples: 24 tumor samples, 24 samples of normal prostate tissue adjacent to cancerous tissue, and 22 biopsy samples from people with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or noncancerous prostate enlargement. Levels of PITX2 methylation were substantially higher in cancerous tissue, compared to normal tissue or that obtained from BPH patients
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