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IMAGE: University of Toronto researchers developed a liquid biopsy technology to improve prostate cancer treatment. view more 

Credit: University of Toronto

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men and the fifth leading cause of death from cancer in men worldwide, according to 2012 numbers. While several viable treatment options for prostate cancer exist, many men affected with prostate cancer will not respond to first-line treatments. Researchers in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto have developed a new technology for liquid biopsy to identify which patients may not respond to standard therapy before it is delivered.

“Screening for drug resistance is key to improving treatment approaches for many cancers,” said Shana Kelley, scientist and professor at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto. “It’s important for patients not to be on a therapy that won’t help them and it’s also important for healthcare systems to avoid, whenever possible, delivering ineffective treatments.”

The ability to screen patients using a blood sample as opposed to more invasive techniques required for conventional biopsies is also a step forward.

Kelley, lead investigator on the study published today in Nature Chemistry,

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