Gene Signature Predicts Risk of Metastasis in Localised Prostate Cancer

Dawn O'Shea

November 17, 2020

Researchers have identified a genetic signature in localised prostate cancer that can predict whether the cancer is likely to metastasise early in the course of the disease and whether it will respond to anti-androgen therapy. The new gene signature may also be useful for evaluating treatment response, the researchers say.

In a study published in  Nature Cancer,  a first-of-its-kind mouse model revealed that bone metastases have a different molecular profile than that of primary tumours. The finding was further studied in biopsy samples from patients undergoing androgen receptor therapy.

Transcriptomic and whole-exome analyses of bone metastases from the mice revealed distinct molecular profiles conserved between human and mouse and specific patterns of subclonal branching from the primary tumour.

The researchers found that 16 genes predicted metastasis. The META-16 signature was found to be highly effective at predicting time to metastasis and response to anti-androgen therapy. META-16 might allow for more targeted treatment for patients at risk of cancer progression while sparing men at low risk of progression unnecessary treatment.

The team is currently refining the test, which they then hope to evaluate in a prospective clinical trial.

Arriaga JM, Panja S, Alshalalfa M, et al. A MYC and RAS co-activation signature in localized prostate cancer drives bone metastasis and castration resistance. Nat Cancer (2020). Abstract

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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