Researchers Discover Gene Signature that Predicts Prostate Cancer Survival

Released: 10/10/2012 2:50 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Mount Sinai Medical Center
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Citations Lancet Oncology

Newswise — Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have identified a six-gene signature that can be used in a test to predict survival in men with aggressive prostate cancer, according to new research published in the October issue of The Lancet Oncology. This is the first study to demonstrate how prognostic markers may be useful in a clinical setting.

Using blood from 202 men with treatment-resistant prostate cancer, researchers found six genes characteristic of treatment-resistant prostate cancer. Men with the six-gene signature were high-risk, with a survival time of 7.8 months, and men without it were low-risk, with a survival time of approximately 34.9 months. A replication study of 140 additional patients validated these findings. William K. Oh, MD, Chief of the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology of The Tisch Cancer Institute at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, led the research team.

"There is an urgent need for predictive models that help assess how aggressive the disease is in prostate cancer patients, as survival can vary greatly," said Dr. Oh. "Our six-gene model, delivered in a simple blood test, will allow clinicians to better determine the course of action for their patients, determine clinical trial eligibility, and lead to more targeted studies in late-stage disease."

Until now, disease prognosis in advanced prostate cancer could only be determined through clinical predictors or, occasionally, tumor biopsies with only moderately predictive results. This study shows the efficacy of the six-gene model blood test in determining length of survival.

“The genes noted in the model suggest possible changes in the immune system related to late-stage disease that warrant further study as a target for immune-based therapies,” said Dr. Oh.

Dr. Oh’s team is conducting additional studies exploring the feasibility of the six-gene signature in other types of prostate cancer, the stability of the signature during the course of a patient’s illness, and the predictive ability of this signature in patients with prostate cancer treated with immune-based therapies.

This work was done in collaboration with colleagues at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of the leading medical schools in the United States. The Medical School is noted for innovation in education, biomedical research, clinical care delivery, and local and global community service. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 14 research institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and by US News and World Report.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2011, US News and World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital 14th on its elite Honor Roll of the nation’s top hospitals based on reputation, safety, and other patient-care factors. Mount Sinai is one of 12 integrated academic medical centers whose medical school ranks among the top 20 in NIH funding and US News and World Report and whose hospital is on the US News and World Report Honor Roll. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 560,000 outpatient visits took place.
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