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Expert Highlights Rapidly Evolving Biomarker Development in Prostate Cancer

Shannon Connelly
Published: Monday, Apr 24, 2017

Leonard Gomella, MD

Leonard Gomella, MD

The field of prostate cancer has been transitioning with the identification of novel biomarkers. However, physicians are now facing a new challenge: which one is best appropriate for their patients? 

Interdisciplinary Prostate Cancer Congress, Gomella, professor and chair, Department of Urology, and director, Kimmel Cancer Center Network, Thomas Jefferson University, discusses the future of biomarkers in prostate cancer.

OncLive: Can you give an overview of your talk on biomarkers in prostate cancer?

Gomella: Biomarkers in prostate cancer is a very rapidly evolving field. We’re seeing new markers for prostate cancer almost on a weekly or monthly basis. Right now, biomarkers for prostate cancer fall into 2 general categories: biomarkers that are used for the biopsy and initial diagnosis of prostate cancer, and biomarkers that are used after the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Right now in prostate cancer, a lot of it revolves around what we call the somatic markers in the tumor to help us guide treatment. We have a whole different class of biomarkers now, both genomic and basic tests, such as the SelectMDx, 4Kscore test, the PHI (Prostate Health Index) test, and other blood and urine tests, to help us with the decision for the initial biopsy.

With so many new biomarkers available, what are the challenges?

With all the biomarkers, the challenge is which is the best one. There are so many out there, and I think it’s up to the individual provider to start to work with 1 or 2 of the biomarkers and decide if they work well in his or her hands.
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