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Personalized Treatment For Prostate Cancer Using 3 In 1 Blood Test

July 31st, 2017

Personalized Treatment For Prostate Cancer Using 3 In 1 Blood Test

Personalized Treatment For Prostate Cancer Using 3 In 1 Blood Test

Prostate Cancer is one of the most frequently reported cancer in men. According to a latest research, a personalized blood test has been developed by scientists for prostate cancer patients. This test can perform 3 primary functions:

  • Predict the response of patient’s body to PARP inhibitors
  • Predicts the influence of medications on the survival rate
  • Detects if the patient may develop resistance against the drug

The co-author of the study, who is also a professor at The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, UK, Johann de Bono and his team, reported the findings of their unique study in the Journal of Cancer Discovery.

Prostate Cancer Is On The Rise

Second only to skin cancer, the incidence of prostate cancer has increased significantly in the USA in the past few years. About 5-10% cases of prostate cancer result from the inherited gene alteration or mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Research has revealed that prostate cancer caused by genetic mutation can be treated effectively with PARP inhibitors.

Types Of Prostate Cancer Surgery Image

The researchers of this study noted that in most cases the patients’ response to this class of medication was satisfactory however they observed that a number of patients stopped responding to the medication and developed drug resistance. Theirstudy selectively targets the identification of patients having prostate cancer, who are more likely to be benefited by PARP inhibitors.

The study revolved around 49 men with advanced cancer stage, 16 of whom displayed satisfactory response to a PARP inhibiting agent called Olaparib. In men who responded to the medication, an evident drop of 49.6% was observed in the circulating cancer DNA following the treatment period of 8 weeks. Whereas men who exhibited no response to the drug were observed to have 2.1% increased circulating cancer DNA following the treatment period of 8 weeks.

The findings thereby suggest that the doctor may use the levels of circulating cancer DNA to interpret the intensity of response to PARP inhibitors. With poor response rates, the doctor may recommend an alternative treatment approach which subsequently improves the quality of life.

The co-author and his team also speculated that the use of Olaparib can be helpful in predicting the survival rate in prostate cancer patient. The findings of their study suggested that the men who responded well to the drug were found to have a relatively longer survival rate i.e. up to 7 months more in contrast to the patients who did not respond to the drug.

The researchers also believed that the use of Olaparib hints about the drug resistance. The genetic variations in patients explains poor response to the drugs, which counteracted the mutations in DNA repair mechanism that made it prone to Olaparib in the first place.

The small-scale findings have been very promising and the researchers hope to conduct the study on a larger scale in order to practice a personalized treatment approach for prostate cancer. The 3 in 1 test can help in the long-term cancer management and efficiently assist in determining the outlook and prognosis of the advancing cancer. A test like this can be used as a basis to explore new options to precise medication which may help in improving the quality of life of patients.


  • Klotz, L., Vesprini, D., Sethukavalan, P., Jethava, V., Zhang, L., Jain, S., … & Loblaw, A. (2014). Long-term follow-up of a large active surveillance cohort of patients with prostate cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 33(3), 272-277.
  • Nakazawa, M., Lu, C., Chen, Y., Paller, C. J., Carducci, M. A., Eisenberger, M. A., … & Antonarakis, E. S. (2015). Serial blood-based analysis of AR-V7 in men with advanced prostate cancer. Annals of Oncology, 26(9), 1859-1865.

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