The Prostate Cancer Group at MOMA
Prostate Cancer: Diagnosis and Therapy
Prostate cancer (PC) is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in males in Western countries, including in Denmark where approximately 4500 men are diagnosed every year.
If detected early, clinically localized PC can be cured by e.g. surgery (radical prostatectomy) or radiation therapy, whereas advanced metastatic PC is associated with very high morbidity and mortality despite increasing treatment options.
The currently used tool for early detection of PC, i.e. the blood test PSA (prostate specific antigen), is suboptimal, which leads to over-diagnosis and over-treatment of many clinically insignificant PCs as well as under-treatment of clinically significant PCs.
Thus, a major challenge in the management of early stage PC is to distinguish between cases that will progress rapidly and become life-threatening, and cases that will remain latent without affecting the health of the patient.
Another major clinical challenge is inherent and acquired therapy resistance in patients with advanced metastatic PC. Hence, there is also an urgent need for development of novel precision oncology approaches, which could ensure that each patient is treated according to the unique genetic/molecular profile of his tumor.
Since 2002, the prostate cancer research group has collaborated closely with the Department of Urology at Aarhus University Hospital, to collect biological samples from patients with PC.
Currently, our biobank holds samples from more than 5000 PC patients and controls with full clinical follow-up information. We also have PC tissue microarrays with specimens from >1000 PC patients, constructed in collaboration with the Department of Histopathology at Aarhus University Hospital.
Aim of Research
Our research focuses on prostate cancer and personalized medicine. We use e.g. next generation sequencing for molecular profiling of tumor, blood, and urine samples from patients. We also run clinical trials. The overall aim is to develop novel biomarkers and obtain new insights into tumor biology.
Current Research Activities
- Development of new and better molecular biomarkers for prostate cancer
- Development of liquid biopsy tests, including ctDNA based tests
- Elucidation of the genetic basis for prostate cancer susceptibility and patient outcome
- Identification of novel prostate cancer drive genes using genome-wide CRISPR screens
- Investigation of the role of the tumor immune microenvironment for prostate cancer aggressiveness
- Analyses of the role of the microbiome in prostate cancer development and progression
- Investigator-initiated clinical trials for translation of our main findings
Projects and Collaborations
We are members of two international consortia:
which has pioneered genome wide association studies (GWAS) for prostate cancer
Pan Prostate Cancer Group (PPCG)
providing breakthrough advances through analysis of a very large series of Whole Genome DNA data from prostate cancer
List of research projects for Karina Dalsgaard Sørensen (PURE)
Selected recent publications
- Hansen EB, Fredsøe J, Okholm TL, Ulhøi B, Klingenberg S, Jensen JB, Kjems J, Bouchelouche K, Borre M, Damgaard CK, Pedersen JS, Kristensen LS, Sørensen KD. The Transcriptional Landscape and Biomarker Potential of circular RNAs in Prostate Cancer. Genome Med 2022; 14(1):8 PMID 35078526
- Salachan PV, Rasmussen M, Fredsøe J, Ulhøi B, Borre M, Sørensen KD. Microbiota of the prostate tumor environment investigated by whole transcriptome profiling. Genome Med 2022; 14(1):9 PMID 35078527
- Andersen LB, Nørgaard M, Rasmussen M, Fredsøe J, Borre M, Ulhøi BP, Sørensen KD. Immune cell analyses of the tumor microenvironment in prostate cancer highlight infiltrating regulatory T cells and macrophages as adverse prognostic factors. J Pathol 2021; 255(2):155-165. PMID 34255349
- Jensen JH, Strand SH, Cieza-Borrella C, Nørgaard M, Jakobsson M, Dagnaes-HansenF, Thomsen M, Riedel M, Ulhøi B, Eeles R, Borre M, Olsen JV, Kote-Jarai Z, Sørensen KD. FRMD6 has tumor suppressor functions in prostate cancer. Oncogene 2021 Jan;40(4):763-776 PMID: 33249427
- Fredsøe J, Ervandian M, Koetsenruijter J, Vedsted P, Kirkegaard P, Væth M, Edwards A, Ørntoft TF, Sørensen KD, Bro F. The effect of assessing genetic risk of prostate cancer on the use of PSA tests in primary care: a cluster randomised controlled trial. PLOS Medicine 2020; 17(2):e1003033.PMID: 32032355