The role of imaging studies and molecular markers for selecting candidates for radical prostatectomy.
For the typical patient who has newly diagnosed prostate cancer, clinically organ-confined disease of moderate grade, and a PSA less than 10 ng/mL, the current role of imaging studies and molecular biomarkers is limited. Bone scans are not necessary for newly diagnosed men with a PSA less than 10 ng/mL in the absence of bone pain. Similarly, abdominal and pelvic CT scanning rarely provides any useful diagnostic or staging information when the PSA is less the 20 ng/mL and is indicated rarely. Endorectal coil MR imaging adds staging information for patients with a PSA between 10 and 20 ng/mL, a Gleason score of 7 or less, and 50% or more positive biopsies on a sextant sampling. Indium 111 capromab pendetide scanning (ProstaScint) is FDA-approved to evaluate newly diagnosed patients at high risk for metastases. These patients have a Gleason score of 7 or greater and a PSA greater than 20 ng/mL, a Gleason score of 8 to 10 regardless of the PSA value, or clinical stage T3 disease and a Gleason score of 6 or greater. RT-PCR testing of blood or bone marrow for prostate-specific or prostate cancer-specific gene expression, or "molecular staging," is a promising technique whose current use is still investigational. Much useful information may be gained by careful study of prostate needle biopsy material. Aside from current Gleason grading and the number or percentage of cores involved with cancer, no molecular biomarker is approved for clinical use. p27, p53, bcl-2, Ki-67 (MIB-1), and the assessment of neovascularity hold promise, but prospective multicenter studies are needed. In the long-term, multiple gene expression profiling of biopsy material using gene chips may revolutionize the care of patients with prostate cancer and those who elect radical prostatectomy.
Moul, JW; Kane, CJ; Malkowicz, SB
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