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New method for predicting prostate cancer

The damage closely resembles that found in the DNA of prostate cancer and was easily identified using biopsy tissue samples and is believed to indicate a high risk for prostate cancer.
Lead investigator, Dr. Donald C. Malins of the Pacific Northwest Research Institute in Seattle and his colleagues published their findings this week in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Malins stated that this technique is ideally suited for physicians to identify patients at risk for developing primary prostate tumors.
“Most importantly, this finding is particularly promising for determining whether a primary tumor has progressed to the metastatic state, and for identifying those patients at high risk for metastasis,” said Malins, who is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
These new findings were obtained using a combination of high-tech tools developed in Malins’ laboratory combining highly sensitive and discriminating Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy with statistical analysis.
Malins and colleagues also found that the damage to prostate DNA increases with age and that free radicals are likely contributing factors.
Additional evidence in the report shows that the DNA from prostate tumor biopsies could be used to signal whether a prostate cancer has begun to spread or metastasize to other parts of the body, thus allowing doctors and patients to reach more fully informed treatment decisions.
Prior to this discovery, the only practical method for determining whether a prostate tumor has metastasized was to identify metastases in other parts of the body. Once a metastatic cancer has spread, survival chances fall significantly.

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