Melbourne research gives breakthrough hope on men avoiding prostate surgery

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ScalpelSource: Herald Sun – Grant McCarthur.

Men with prostate cancer have new hope of avoiding unnecessary surgery after Melbourne researchers for the first time unlocked the secret of which tumours are likely to turn deadly.

The discovery may prevent thousands of men having their prostates removed each year for suspected cancers that ­doctors are unable to classify as lethal or not.

Researchers from Cancer Council Victoria’s Cancer ­Epidemiology Centre and TissuPath Specialist Pathology identified three biomarkers that can be used to separate men at a high risk of dying from prostate cancer from those whose cancer detection is unlikely to cause a major problem.

The scientists found that men whose tumours contained either of two proteins, called MUC1 and p53, were twice as likely to die of prostate cancer than those whose tumours did not carry the proteins.

The analysis of tissue taken from prostate tumour biopsies also revealed that the presence of a third biomarker, known as AZGP1, cut the man’s risk of dying from prostate cancer by three times.

While the results will need to be verified in a larger study, study author Dr Liesel FitzGerald said they opened the way for tests to screen for the three biomarkers that could determine which tumours needed to be removed…read more.

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