Nallasivam Palanisamy, Ph.D. @NallasivamPala4 of @HenryFordNews highlights select biomarkers in patients with prostate cancer and what is next on the horizon for research.
A research study published in Neoplasia, led by lead researcher Nallasivam Palanisamy, Ph.D., associate researcher at the Vattikuti Urology Institute at Henry Ford Health System, identified a novel fusion of the prostate cancer gene involving the KLK4 protein coding gene and KLKP1 pseudogene. In urine samples of prostate cancer patients, this particular biomarker can be identified, providing a non-invasive method of detection.
The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is currently being used as the standard method of screening prostate cancer. Nevertheless, elevated levels of PSA are not exclusive to prostate cancer, as benign prostate conditions can also induce them. As a consequence, an elevated PSA test can sometimes result in the patient undergoing an unnecessary prostate biopsy that carries a risk of bleeding and infection. Results from this work can provide a more accurate and reliable approach for diagnosing prostate cancer.
“This study is exciting because it has the potential to offer a non-invasive alternative to the traditional PSA test in order to diagnose significant prostate cancers,” said Craig Rogers, M.D., chair of the Vattikuti Urology Institute at Henry Ford Health System. “The discovery of new biomarkers ultimately benefits our patients, as it advances our understanding of this complex disease and how to most effectively treat it.”
When the KLK4 protein coding gene and KLKP1 pseudogene fuse together, the fusion gene KLK4-KLKP1 is formed. Pseudogenes like KLKP1 are the non-functional, or dead, versions of an actual gene that is normally not expressed in a cell but can become active in cancerous cells and disrupt the functions of the actual gene.