~ Heidelberg Scientists Discover Early Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Heidelberg Scientists Discover Early Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa), 08-22-05

Heidelberg, Germany (dpa) - A team of researchers at Heidelberg University in Germany have come up with a way of detecting certain calcium-binding proteins that are associated with prostate cancer.

The scientists at Heidelberg's DKFZ Cancer Research Centre say the new test allows physicians to spot prostate cancer far earlier than the conventional PSA antigen test.

The PSA test spots all tumours, including benign ones, leading to unnecessary surgery. The new method allows doctors to identify malignant growths.

Heidelberg researchers Alexander Hermani and Doris Mayer, writing in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, said patients with prostate cancer had a higher level of calcium-binding proteins S100A8 and S100A9 not only in the tumours themselves but also in their bloodstream.

"The S100 proteins comprise a family of calcium-modulated proteins that have recently been associated with epithelial tumours," Mayer wrote in the article.

"We examined the expression of two members of this family, S100A8 and S100A9, together with the S100 receptor RAGE (receptor for advanced glycation end products) in human prostate adenocarcinomas and in prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia.

Tissue specimens of 75 patients with organ-confined prostate cancer of different grades were analyzed by immunohistochemistry for evidence of S100A8 and S100A9.

"There was a high degree of overlap of S100A8 and S100A9 expression patterns and of S100A8 or S100A9 and RAGE, respectively," she added.

"Our data suggest that enhanced expression of S100A8, S100A9, and RAGE is an early event in prostate tumorigenesis and may contribute to development and progression or extension of prostate carcinomas. Furthermore, S100A9 in serum may serve as useful marker to discriminate between prostate cancer and BPH."

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