Men suffering from prostate cancer and the doctors treating them become perplexed when it comes to the treatment of the disease, whether to do it or not. This is because while some of the tumors are aggressive, the others might take years or decades to harm them.
According to the new research certain changes in the chromosome within the prostate cancer cells can be tracked to find a solution to this problem. Angelika Amon, team lead at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that the chromosomal data may be used in future for the treatment and for risk stratification apart from providing information on the formation and spread of prostate tumors. Aneuploidy is the main focus of the research. Aneuploidy refers to a genetic state where the cells contain chromosomes in an abnormal number.
Dr. Manish Vira, at Northwell Health’s Arthur Smith Institute for Urology in New York said that providing proper guidance for the treatment of prostate cancer is very important. He said that the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test to suggest if a man needed treatment or surgery has become somewhat unpopular. In case of indolent tumors where the tumors do not grow it was better to wait and see and allow the tumor to be in place. So the best way to treating prostate cancer is to find a test during diagnosis which can help in identifying people who belong to the highest risk category of prostate cancer.
The new research used samples of prostate tumor of 333 men and developed a way wherein a signature pattern could be estimated of the chromosomal losses and gains within the cells. This was then applied to 404 patients of prostate cancer over a period of 15 years. According to the research an euploidy played an important role in aggressive prostate tumors. The level of risk involved and also the treatment decisions could be determined from the extent of an euploidy. Dr Nicholas Karanikolas at the Staten Island University Hospital in New York City said that the oncologists should have a wider knowledge of cancer’s genetic makeup to help in providing better treatment.