Dr. Stein on Circulating Biomarkers in Prostate Cancer

Mark Stein, MD
Published: Friday, Nov 18, 2016



Mark Stein, MD, medical oncologist, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, discusses the use of novel circulating biomarkers in the treatment of patients with prostate cancer.

The use of these biomarkers is considered to be an emerging concept, according to Stein, as they are not routinely used in current clinical care. However, Stein believes these advances in technology, including the ability to sample cells, blood, and DNA in circulation, will all soon be integrated into routine care in the coming months and years.

Oncologists strive to figure out which patients will benefit most from a specific agent, and also why certain drugs may stop working for particular patients. These lingering questions are the basis for the rationale behind the development of such circulating biomarkers.

Moreover, the rationale is to ultimately understand prognostic factors in prostate cancer. For example, if a patient has a lot of circulating tumor cells, that feature is typically considered to be a poor prognostic factor, says Stein. Conversely, if the amount of circulating tumor cells can be decreased, patients seem to subsequently achieve good responses to treatment.

Overall, these more novel biomarkers do, in fact, add something to the more traditional markers, like CAT scans or prostate-specific antigen testing, according to Stein.


Mark Stein, MD, medical oncologist, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, discusses the use of novel circulating biomarkers in the treatment of patients with prostate cancer.

The use of these biomarkers is considered to be an emerging concept, according to Stein, as they are not routinely used in current clinical care. However, Stein believes these advances in technology, including the ability to sample cells, blood, and DNA in circulation, will all soon be integrated into routine care in the coming months and years.

Oncologists strive to figure out which patients will benefit most from a specific agent, and also why certain drugs may stop working for particular patients. These lingering questions are the basis for the rationale behind the development of such circulating biomarkers.

Moreover, the rationale is to ultimately understand prognostic factors in prostate cancer. For example, if a patient has a lot of circulating tumor cells, that feature is typically considered to be a poor prognostic factor, says Stein. Conversely, if the amount of circulating tumor cells can be decreased, patients seem to subsequently achieve good responses to treatment.

Overall, these more novel biomarkers do, in fact, add something to the more traditional markers, like CAT scans or prostate-specific antigen testing, according to Stein.



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