Perhaps the most promising tool so far is the RNA-based gene-expression cell cycle progression (CCP) score. CCP appears to outperform clinical-factors-based risk stratification for predicting biochemical failure after prostate cancer radiotherapy.6-8 It also appears to predict prostate cancer-specific mortality, and shows promise for identifying patients who need more aggressive radiotherapy.

“A number of biomarkers associated with DNA damage response have also been associated with outcomes following prostate cancer radiotherapy,” Dr Feng and colleagues noted. “This includes the tumor suppressor gene p53, which is prognostic for the development of distant metastases.” Up-regulation of the p53-regulating MDM2 oncogene’s expression predicts metastasis risk and shorter survival time following prostate cancer radiotherapy.

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Before these candidate biomarkers can be translated into routine clinical use for prostate cancer radiotherapy decision-making and planning, however, they require more additional work with larger patient cohorts, experts agree.

Ultimately, predictive biomarkers for prostate cancer radiotherapy will probably be used alongside existing clinicopathologic and biochemical assays and nomograms.

RELATED: GATA2 in Prostate Cancer: A Promising Biomarker

As others have noted for prostate cancer biomarkers in general, most candidate radiogenomic biomarkers are potential prognostic tools that predict patient outcomes regardless of specific treatment strategies. What is needed, Dr Feng and his coauthors argue, are predictive biomarkers associated with outcomes for specific treatment options.

Developing and validating predictive biomarkers are “of paramount importance moving forward,” they argued. 


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