from GenomeWeb –
A set of circulating microRNAs appears to be able to distinguish patients with very high-risk prostate cancer, according to a team of researchers from Northwestern University.
Northwestern’s Chad Mirkin and his colleagues measured the expression level of miRNAs in serum from patients with low- and high-risk prostate cancer. As the researchers reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week, the expression of five miRNAs — some of which had been linked previously to prostate cancer pathogenesis — differed between the two groups.
Currently, serum prostate-specific antigen is used as a prostate cancer screening tool, but, the researchers noted in their paper, there is no way to differentiate between aggressive and indolent forms of the disease, which may lead to overtreatment.
“This molecular signature will assist in differentiating patients who may benefit from therapy from those who can be closely monitored on active surveillance,” Mirkin and his colleagues added in their paper.
Using an assay platform that they previously developed called Scanometric MicroRNA, or Scano-miR, the researchers profiled the exosomal miRNA of patients with very high-risk prostate cancer as determined by their Gleason score, and compared them to profiles from healthy controls and patients with low-risk prostate cancer…