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Researchers Develop Personalized Genetic Test To Predict Prostate Cancer Recurrence Risk

Update Date: Nov 13, 2014 11:11 AM EST

Researchers have devised a genetic test to identify which men are at highest risk for their prostate cancer to come back after localized treatment with surgery or radiotherapy, according to a new study. 

The newly devised gene test provides a much-needed quick and accurate tool to determine with greater precision the men who will do well with local treatment only (surgery or radiation), and those who will need extra treatment (chemotherapy and hormone therapy) to ensure the cancer is completely eradicated, the press release said.

"Our findings set the stage to tackle the ongoing clinical problem of under-treating men with aggressive disease that will recur in 30% to 50% of patients due to hidden, microscopic disease that is already outside the prostate gland during initial treatment," said Dr. Robert Bristow, a clinician-scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, in the press release.

"This genetic test could increase cure rates in intermediate- to high-risk men by preventing progression to this metastatic spread of prostate cancer."

The subsequent step will be testing the gene signature on many more patients worldwide for three to five years such that the test turns into one that is readily available in the clinic to guide personalized prostate cancer treatments. 

The study was published in the journal Lancet Oncology

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