Austin Urology Institute Now Offering Genetic Testing for Prostate Cancer
April 27, 2014
Dr. Shaw and the Austin Urology Institute are proud to be amongst the first to offer genetic testing for prostate cancer. As you may have read, there has been a lot of debate and discussion in regards to the diagnosis, management, and treatment of prostate cancer. What we have learned, in a general sense, that there are really two types of prostate cancer. The first is a slow growing type, which I describe as a disease of natural aging. You may have heard the term, “if you live long enough, all men will have prostate cancer”. However, as you may know, not all men die of prostate cancer. However, there is a second major type of prostate cancer, which is an aggressive cancer that many men die of every year. The hallmarks of aggressive prostate cancer include young age, high PSA, multiple areas of prostate cancer on biopsy, and an elevated Gleason score.
At the Austin Urology Institute, we are proud to partner with Prolaris, to offer genetic based testing of prostate cancer. The genetic testing is done on the same tissue that is obtained at the time of prostate biopsy, so no additional testing is necessary. We can even do the genetic testing on prostate biopsy tissue that is done elsewhere.
How does the genetic testing work? Basically we look at 31 genes specific to the prostate, that when over expressed, demonstrated an elevated cell-cycle progression. Basically the more the 31 genes were expressed, the more aggressive the prostate cancer.
How do we use that information? We combine many factors, including age of the patient, Gleason Score, PSA, number and amount of biopsies positive for cancer, along with the genetic data, to make a more accurate decision as to how aggressive, or not, each individual’s prostate cancer is.
That means we are less likely to over treat patients with low grade, less aggressive prostate cancer (i.e. unnecessary surgery or radiation), and more likely to appropriately treat patients with aggressive disease (catch early, treat early with curative surgery)
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