What is the current status of biomarkers to help measure prostate cancer risk?

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MattCooperbergMD (Physician - Urology (Verified) ) - 02 / 06 / 2013

This is an area in which we are seeing rapid progress and evolution. First of all, it is important to remember that despite all the controversy about screening, PSA remains one of the most successful cancer biomarkers ever identified. Despite uncertainty as to how best to use this marker in the screening situation, for men that have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, it is extremely useful both for risk stratification and monitoring after treatment. The last few years have seen substantial parallel progress in the science of risk stratification, researchers' ability to extract information from small biopsy tissue fragments, and in bioinformatics sophistication. These lines of research are converging, and multiple markers are now either on the market or are expected to be available in the near future. Some of the most promising analyze gene expression based on RNA levels in biopsy tissue; based on these tests, prostate cancer risk can be ascertained with improved accuracy. Other markers which are a bit farther from clinical prime-time, may be able to do the same thing from blood, avoiding for biopsy altogether.
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