Metabolic profiling may determine aggressiveness, prognosis of prostate cancer
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A new approach to analyzing prostate gland tissue may help address a major challenge in treating prostate cancer – determining which tumors are unlikely to progress and which could be life threatening and require treatment. In their report published in the journal Scientific Reports, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators describe how cellular metabolites – proteins produced as the results metabolic processes – in apparently benign tissues from cancerous prostates not only can determine the grade and stage of the tumor but also can predict its risk of recurrence.

“Prostate cancer detection through elevated PSA levels followed by prostate tissue biopsies often cannot differentiate between patients with early-stage, indolent disease and those with aggressive cancers,” says Leo L. Cheng, PhD, of the MGH Departments of Radiology and Pathology, co-corresponding author of the report. “The additional metabolic information provided by magnetic resonance spectroscopy can help guide treatment strategy, both to prevent overtreatment of slow-growing tumors – a critical and widely recognized current issue – and to identify the aggressive tumors for which additional treatment should be considered.”

It has been estimated that more than 70 percent of men who receive a prostate cancer diagnosis after PSA (prostate-specific antigen) screening and biopsy

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