prostate cancer discovery

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the patrick c. walsh prostate cancer research fund

Looking For a "Smart" Urine Test for Prostate Cancer

As helpful as PSA testing has been for millions of men, it does not always tell doctors which man's cancer is lethal, which man's cancer is indolent, and which man doesn't have cancer at all, but another prostate problem that is causing his PSA to rise. In work funded by the Patrick C. Walsh Prostate Cancer Research Fund, scientist Hui Zhang, Ph.D., along with co-investigators Robert Veltri and Bruce Trock, believes these answers may be found in specific proteins in the urine.

Glycoproteins are proteins that have carbohydrates attached to them. "We hypothesize that glycoproteins specifically altered in aggressive prostate cancer cells can be released to urine and used as biomarkers," says Zhang, "to distinguish men with lethal cancer from those with indolent prostate cancer." The scientists hope to identify these using quantitative analysis, looking at urine glycoproteins from lethal and indolent prostate cancer, and then testing these potential biomarkers using glycoproteomic analysis. The end result, they hope, will be a noninvasive urinary test. "Urine biomarkers capable of distinguishing lethal from indolent prostate cancer will help men with lethal prostate cancer to receive appropriate treatment earlier, and help prevent overtreatment in men who have indolent disease."

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