Dr. Michael Brawer on Predicting Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness

Michael K. Brawer, MD, vice president, medical affairs, urology, Myriad Genetics, discusses a genomic test used to predict risk in prostate cancer.

All prostate cancers are not the same and the vast majority have a low chance of causing the patient a problem during his lifetime, says Brawer.

However, all prostate cancers have historically been lumped together, as tools for risk assessment have been fairly limited, he says. What the cancer looks like under the microscope, what is felt during a digital/rectal exam, and the level of PSA, are all factors commonly used to determine risk, says Brawer. But these factors do not always accurately predict risk.

To help solve this problem, Myriad Genetics create Prolaris, a genomic test done on the diagnostic biopsy which measures the expression levels of genes involved in cancer cell proliferation. The test can aid oncologists in predicting prostate cancer aggressiveness in conjunction with clinical parameters such as Gleason score and PSA.

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