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New Marker for Prostate Cancer


Tuesday 18 March 2008


Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, led by Dr Chris Parker, have identified an exciting new test that could be used to individualise treatment for men with prostate cancer. The research was published today in the journal Lancet Oncology. Standard treatment with surgery or radiotherapy cures around two thirds of men with localised prostate cancer. The new test could help to identify the other one third who are not curable with standard therapy, and who therefore need more intensive treatment.

The team at The Institute analysed samples from over 400 prostate cancer patients treated up to 13 years ago either with radiotherapy at The Royal Marsden Hospital, or with surgery in Aarhus, Denmark. They found that the levels of hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and angiogenesis (formation of blood vessels) in those samples were powerful predictors of treatment outcome.

Dr Chris Parker commented: “The results are extremely encouraging. The new tests should help us to individualise the treatment of prostate cancer in the future so we can target more intensive treatment to those men who need it.”

Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in the UK, with more than 35,000 men each year being diagnosed with the disease and around 10,000 men dying of it.



The research was funded by the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation and The Danish Cancer Society.

For further information please contact:

Nadia Ramsey

The Institute of Cancer Research

0207 153 5359 / 07721 747900


About The Institute of Cancer Research

The Institute of Cancer Research is Europe's leading cancer research centre with expert scientists working on cutting edge research. It was founded in 1909 to carry out research into the causes of cancer and to develop new strategies for its prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. Website:




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