Prostate Cancer Test to Determine Best Treatment

The problem with prostate cancer is in knowing whether you have an aggressive form of the cancer and therefore require a surgical option, or if you have a less agressive form of the disease - which is more likely. The aggressiveness of prostate cancer can now be measured using a genomic test called Prolaris. The Prolaris test measures a key feature of cancer growth, namely 'cell proliferation', and whether the genes for cancer cell proliferation are 'expressed'.

Eight out of ten men diagnosed with prostate cancer will now survive for longer than five years. So, the aim is to preserve maximum quality of life by selecting the most appropriate prostate cancer treatment from a range of options. The most important factor relies on the aggressiveness of the disease (which varies widely from patient to patient). However, until recently it has been difficult to diagnose this factor. Most men would naturally prefer to avoid the risks of surgery if possible or to keep surgery to a minimum, and radical prostatectomy is not always necessary. The new genomic test now facilitates and helps to provide the information required to make these types of decisions.

For further information on assessing surgical treatment options see - Prostate Cancer Pre-operative Staging by Consultant Urologist Mr Christian Brown.

Prolaris and Risk Stratification

The challenge for managing clinically localised prostate cancer effectively is to first of all establish the level of cancer aggression especially as cell proliferation rates vary widely from patient to patient. The new prostate cancer proliferation test provides an accurate indication of the level of threat.

The Prolaris test is still used in conjunction with PSA and Gleason score and is not meant to be a substitute for these tests, even though Prolaris is probably now the single most significant prognostic test at the time of diagnosis.
The level of 'risk stratification' provided by Prolaris enables the urologist to better predict each individual patient's likelihood of disease progression within ten years. In this way a better, more personalised treatment and/or monitoring plan can be recommended. Prolaris can also be used following surgery (post-proctatectomy) to better establish the risk of recurrence and to inform the nature of follow-up and recommended treatments.
For further information see - How Aggressive is my Prostate Cancer?
For Prostate Cancer, Urologists and contacts - see Consultant Profile
Abnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. Full medical glossary
The basic unit of all living organisms. Full medical glossary
The process of determining which condition a patient may have. Full medical glossary
The basic unit of genetic material carried on chromosomes. Full medical glossary
A system used to assess the extent of abnormality of prostate cancer cells. Full medical glossary
A keyhole surgical procedure. Full medical glossary
A gland that surrounds the urethra near the bladder. It produces a fluid that forms part of the semen. Full medical glossary
Surgical removal of the prostate, a gland that surrounds the urethra near the bladder. Full medical glossary
An abbreviation for prostate-specific antigen, an enzyme that is produced by the prostate. High levels are present in the blood when the prostate gland is enlarged or inflamed. Full medical glossary
The surgical removal of the entire prostate gland. Full medical glossary
septic arthritis Full medical glossary
A specialist in the treatment of diseases of the urinary tract, the channels that carry urine from the kidneys to the outside of the body. Full medical glossary