About Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in males in Western countries, including Denmark, where approx. 4000 men are diagnosed every year.
Clinically localized PC is curable by surgery (radical prostatectomy) and radiation therapy, but up to 30% of the patients experience disease progression within 10 years. A considerable number of patients treated for organ-confined PC, however, would not have developed clinically significant disease during their lifetime even without treatment.
The routine prognostic indicators available today, including serum PSA (prostate specific antigen), cannot distinguish clearly between these patient groups.
Thus, the widespread use of PSA testing for PC detection has not only led to an increased incidence of PC diagnosis, but also to significant over-diagnosis and over-treatment of clinically insignificant PC.
Currently, the perhaps largest challenge in the management of PC is to distinguish between cancers that will progress rapidly and become life-threatening, and cancers that will remain latent and not significantly affect the health of the patient.
Since 2002, the prostate cancer research group at CMCC has collaborated closely with the Department of Urology at Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby, to collect biological samples from patients with PC.
Currently, our biobank holds samples from about more than 1200 PC patients with clinical follow-up information. We also have PC tissue microarrays with specimens from 300 prostatectomized PC patients (end-point: PSA recurrence) as well as from 200 conservatively treated PC patients (end-point: cancer-specific death).
In collaboration with the Institute of Pathology, AUH,we have constructed several PC tissue microarrays (TMA).
Aim of Research
The primary aim of our research is to identify and develop new molecular markers for PC to increase the accuracy of diagnosis and prognosis, and thereby pave the way for better personalized treatment.
Our approach is translational, integrating clinical and basic studies with a clear focus on improving the diagnosis and treatment of PC.
Current Research Activities
- Identification of new molecular markers for aggressive PC using NGS and microarray profiling of patient samples (See molpros.dk)
- Development of diagnostic and prognostic DNA methylation markers for PC
- Characterization of the molecular heterogeneity of multifocal and multiclonal PC
- Identification of mRNA and miRNA markers for PC. Functional in vitro studies of top candidate genes/miRNAs.
- Tissue microarray studies for validation of candidate markers
- Investigation of the biomarker potential and biological role of long non-coding RNAs in prostate cancer
- Elucidation of the genetic basis for prostate cancer susceptibility (See PRACTICAL consortium website)
- Development and clinical testing of SNP-based PC risk prediction algorithms (See molpros.dk)
- Precision medicine for clinically localised prostate cancer, The Danish Cancer Society (2014-2017)
- Improved Molecular Diagnostics for Prostate Cancer, The Danish National Advanved Technology Foundation (2013-2017)
- MOLPROS - "Molecular Prediction of Prostate Cancer Risk and Aggressiveness" (MPRAS), The Danish Council for Strategic Research (2011-2014)