Power of Genomic Testing

Prostate cancer tumor growth rates vary

While men of the same age may have similar PSA (prostate specific antigen blood test results), Gleason score (grading of tumor cell irregularities), and T category (spread of the tumor), they may actually have prostate cancer tumor growth rates that vary widely.  By knowing how aggressively tumor cells are replicating,  physicians may be able to better personalize prostate cancer treatment.

Who benefits from genomic testing?

National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Guidelines for Prostate Cancer address staging and risk assessment after an initial diagnosis of prostate cancer, as well as man­agement options for localized, regional, and metastatic disease.  NCCN is currently discussing newly available tests of genes identified in prostate cell function.  Prolaris and Oncotype DX are two molecular assays that NCCN deems may answer the need for a biomarker to predict disease progression.   Genomic testing is typically limited to patients with early-stage prostate cancer contained within the prostate, and is not currently required as the standard of care.  Cost of genomic testing is covered by some insurance plans and can typically be performed with biopsy tissue already submitted for routine pathology.

More information

The predictive power of genomic testing promises to help many men more confidently weigh their prostate cancer treatment options, aligning with the mission of the non-profit organization Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago to provide education, support and research on prostate cancer treatment.  For further patient information visit Chicago Prostate Cancer Center;  NCCN also provides a patient guide to prostate cancer.

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