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Meta-Analysis Confirms Link Between Epigenetic Changes and Prostate Cancer

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The discovery of effective biomarkers in cancer will have a significant impact on disease management. With the role of the blood-based prostate cancer biomarker PSA (prostate specific antigen) surrounded by controversy, new and more effective biomarkers of this leading cause of death in men are urgently needed. Epigenetic changes are closely linked to cancer and hold promise for prostate cancer diagnosis and management, the authors of a meta-analysis, published online in the leading urology journal, The Prostate, have concluded.

Scientists at MDxHealth SA, a leading molecular diagnostics company in the field of personalized cancer treatment, conducted the research in collaboration with leading experts at Johns Hopkins University (USA) and Ghent University (Belgium). The meta-analysis included more than 30 independent, peer reviewed studies involving epigenetic changes in prostate cancer that have reported a consistently high sensitivity and specificity of GSTP1 gene hypermethylation in prostatectomy or biopsy tissue. GSTP1 has been widely studied in prostate cancer.

“The analysis revealed that DNA methylation detection is more sensitive than PSA testing and urine-based PCA-3 testing in identifying patients at risk for prostate cancer. This clearly shows that the use of epigenetic biomarkers holds tremendous promise for the early-diagnosis and prognosis of the disease, as confirmed in other studies,” noted Prof. Dr. Wim van Criekinge, Chief Scientific Officer of MDxHealth.

MDxHealth, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, Cleveland Clinic, University of California Los Angeles, Lahey Clinic and Eastern Virginia Medical School, is currently conducting a multi-center clinical validation trial with its Prostate ConfirmMDx test featuring an expanded biomarker gene panel that includes GSTP1 and enhanced DNA extraction technology. The results of this confirmatory trial are expected in H1 2012.

Study: The Epigenetic promise for prostate cancer diagnosis

Source: MDxHealth