DNA biomarker could complement PSA in prostate cancer diagnosis

Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is the best biomarker available for prostate cancer detection, but it is far from perfect--sometimes leading to unnecessary biopsies. Researchers in Cincinnati recently completed a study on use of a DNA-based biomarker and concluded that GSTP1 could be a decent complement PSA when testing for prostate cancer.

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati and Harvard conducted a meta-analysis of existing published data related to DNA methylation in bodily fluids. They merged data from 22 studies between 2000 and 2009. UC's Tianying Wu identified GSTP1 as "a statistically significant biomarker for prostate cancer" that could help pin down specific types of prostate cancer 70% better than PSA alone, according to a release.

"The PSA test is highly sensitive, but it cannot differentiate between prostate cancer and benign prostatic conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia, leading many men to have unnecessary biopsies," Wu said in a statement. Also, she said, a test for GSTP1 would be noninvasive as it is found in plasma or urine. This biomarker will give physicians reassurance regards to whether to conduct biopsies in selected patients," says Wu, who is also the lead author of a paper appearing in the British Journal of Cancer.

- check out the UC release
- and the abstract in the British Journal of Cancer

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