Identifying new markers for prostate cancer

investigation into the development of hepsin as an improved diagnostic marker for prostate cancer
 

Spring 2007


£48,983 to the School of Biological Sciences at UEA for a study into a possible new marker for prostate cancer.

At present, many cancer patients whose tumours are confined to the prostate are treated aggressively with radiotherapy, brachytherapy or radical prostatectomy. 

It is estimated that 60-70% of men have evidence of prostate cancer by age 80 but only 4% of men overall will die from prostate cancer, which means that men die with cancer rather than from it.1  Current tests do not successfully identify cancers that result in death, resulting in over-treatment of a significant proportion of men.  It is therefore essential to develop better ways to identify the most at-risk patients. 

Examination of prostate tissues collected in the Norfolk and Norwich Tumour Tissue Bank has shown that an increase in the protein hepsin is a characteristic of malignant prostate tumours, suggesting it may be a useful diagnostic marker.  The purpose of this project is to investigate the development of hepsin as an improved diagnostic marker for prostate cancer.

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1 Data from NHS