A new study suggests examining how prostate cancer tumors change, and are expected to change, over time – called tumor evolution – can help determine how aggressive the cancer is and how it should be treated.
For this study, researchers from the Canadian Prostate Cancer Genome Network (CPC-GENE), Ontario Institute for Cancer Research analyzed the genetic sequences of 293 localized prostate cancer tumors and their clinical outcomes. They discovered tumors that had evolved to have multiple types of cancer cells – called subclones, found in 59 percent of tumors studied – were the most aggressive. Of these, 61 percent of tumors progressed after standard prostate cancer treatment.
Prostate cancer is the leading type of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Decisions about prostate cancer treatment are often difficult due to serious side effects such as urinary and sexual dysfunction. Researchers hope tumor evolution can be used with cancer staging information to determine the best individual treatment option for men with prostate cancer.
Diane is a Senior Content Producer at Remedy Health Media, LLC. She writes the Daily Dose for HealthCentral and is the editorial director at HealthCommunities. Her goal is to contribute to a valuable, trustworthy, and informative experience for people who are searching for health information online.