A novel prostate cancer biomarker
Muller, John Nicholas
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Prostate cancer is the most common non-cutaneous malignancy in men and is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, trailing only lung cancer. About 1 man in 7 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and about 1 in 38 will die of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer does not usually present any symptoms until it has advanced or metastasized and thus screening for prostate cancer is an arduous task. Three of the most common techniques used to screen for prostate cancer includes digital rectal exam, transrectal ultrasound, and the use of biomarkers, specifically Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), which has proven controversial. Due to the need for a more rapid, specific marker for the early detection of prostate cancer, this study aims to identify a new biomarker for prostate cancer. A novel strategy to identify a protein biomarker for prostate cancer was explored, a highly specific hybridoma against the novel biomarker was generated, the efficacy of the biomarker detection tools in prostate cancer was observed and an attempt to identify the biomarker protein sequence was made. Every time a prostate cancer specimen was tested, it was found that the clone 164 antibody that was generated was able to identify unique antigens in the prostate cancer tissue that were not evident in normal tissue. In addition, it was noticed that the clone 164 antibody could identify the marker protein in urine as well. It is believed that the clone 164 antibody is highly specific for early stage prostate cancer diagnosis. Finally, using mass spectrometry, four candidate protein biomarkers that clone 164 recognizes were isolated, with the closest match being Ig alpha-1 chain C region. It is believed that the antigens recognized by clone 164 promises great potential as a future biomarker for prostate cancer. Since the protein is only seen in the urine of patients with prostate cancer, it appears that the clone 164 antibody is suitable to include in a device that can be used in a urine-based, rapid diagnostics point of care kit. Future steps involve animal studies before proceeding to the next step of clinical trials. If the clone 164 antibody identified biomarker proves successful, the respective biomarker protein can be analyzed in detail. Once the expression profile of this biomarker is elucidated, it can be compared to the normal prostate DNA and may help in determining the location in the DNA, which may eventually lead to the idea of treating prostate cancer through gene therapy or the possibility of preventing or curing prostate cancer. Also, the specific antibody against this biomarker can be used as a preventive agent by humanizing this antibody and using it as a therapeutic vaccine.