CANCER CALL SHEET
US researchers propose a genetic profile for prostate cancer in this week’s Nature (Vol. 412, No. 6849, 23 Aug 2001). Arul M. Chinnaiyan and colleagues of the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, have come up with a shortlist of genes to distinguish malignant from benign tissue.
They also find that the expression of two proteins — hepsin and pim-1 — seem to be significantly correlated with poor clinical outcome in prostate cancer, the most frequently diagnosed cancer in American men.
Screening serum for a substance called PSA has led to earlier detection of prostate cancer, but this test is prone to false positives, as the protein can be present in non-malignant conditions. Pim-1 and hepsin are associated with cells and unlikely to be found in serum. They may be more useful markers in prostate biopsy specimens.
Arul M. Chinnaiyan
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(C) Nature press release.
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