SNP on chromosome 19 may be good biomarker for aggressive Gleason 7 disease


An article just published on line in Clinical Cancer Research supposedly reports the discovery of a single nucleotide polymorphism or SNP that may be useful in predicting which patients with Gleason 7 disease are most likely to have a more aggressive form of cancer.

The research team from M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, let by Prof. Xifeng Wu, have apparently been able to link patients’ Gleason scores to a variety of clinical end points, including clinical stage, cancer aggression, and survival.

Specifically, data indicate that the KLK3 gene – a gene on chromosome 19 responsible for encoding PSA – is associated with prostate cancer aggression, and a particular SNP on the KLK3 gene is more evident in cancer patients with Gleason 7 disease.

The researchers had investigated inherited genetic variants to see if there would be any promising biomarkers for prostate cancer by studying the genetic makeup of 72 SNPs identified from the genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in 1,827 prostate cancer patients.

Unfortunately, at present, there is no sign of the abstract (let alone the full text) of the paper available on the web site of Clinical Cancer Research. We are entirely dependent on the data reported in a media release from the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. And there is no information about the specificity or selectivity of this biomarker as a way to identify more aggressive forms of Gleason 7 disease … so there is probably a way to go before anyone could look at developing a specific test to screen for  this particular biomarker among newly diagnosed men with Gleason 7 disease.

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