Posted on Oct 07, 2019, 4 p.m.
As published in the journal Neoplasia a novel prostate cancer gene fusion unique biomarker involving KLK4 protein coding gene and KLKP1 pseudogene that can be detected in urine samples of patients with prostate cancer has been identified which may be a non-invasive way of detection.
The PSA exam is currently used as standard screening method for prostate cancer, but elevated levels are not exclusive to prostate cancer and it can also be caused by benign prostate conditions; sometimes an elevated PSA test can lead to an unnecessary prostate biopsy. This study could lead to an alternative to the PSA exam which may be a more accurate and reliable approach to diagnose prostate cancer.
"This study is exciting because it has the potential to offer a non-invasive alternative to the traditional PSA test in order to diagnose significant prostate cancers," said Craig Rogers, M.D., chair of the Vattikuti Urology Institute at Henry Ford Health System. "The discovery of new biomarkers ultimately benefits our patients, as it advances our understanding of this complex disease and how to most effectively treat it."
The fusion gene KLK4-KLKP1 is formed when KLKP1 pseudogene and the KLK4 protein coding gene fuse together; pseudogenes such as KLKP1 are non-functional version of a gene that is normally not expressed in a cell but can become active in cancerous cells and disrupt functions of the actual gene.
"The unique feature of this fusion gene is the conversion of the noncoding pseudogene KLKP1 into a protein coding gene, and its unique expression in about 30 percent of high Gleason grade prostate cancer," said Dr. Palanisamy. "Like other ETS family gene fusions, KLK4-KLKP1 can also be detected in the urine samples of patients with prostate cancer, enabling non-invasive detection of prostate cancer. Given the unique feature of this fusion, prostate cancer specific expression, oncogenic properties and noninvasive detection, this novel gene fusion has the potential to be used as a biomarker for early detection of prostate cancer and a therapeutic target."
659 participants were involved in this study which revealed that KLK4-KLKP1 fusion gene is expressed in around 32% of those with prostate cancer, this represents a distinct subset of prostate cancer cases. Analysis showed that the novel fusion gene can be used for cancer detection, it can be detected in urine samples as well as being detected in needle biopsy tissue samples by using a specific antibody.
Among men, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer within America. Despite advances resulting in increased survival rates prostate cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer related deaths among American men.
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