genomic test helps men with prostate cancer choose proper treatment path

Eric Klein, chair of the Glickman Urology and Kidney Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, along with a team of researchers at the Clinic and Genomic Health, have developed a genomic test that determines the aggressiveness of prostate cancer and therefore helps doctors and patients decide the proper course of treatment.
“It’s a biopsy-based test that looks at how certain genes are turned on or off,” explains Klein. “Before it was developed we made an educated guess on how aggressive a man’s tumor was based on factors like age and health.”
Often there are multiple small tumors in prostate cancer. The Oncoptype DX Prostate Cancer test, developed for market by California-based Genomic Health, looks at the activity of certain genes within the tumor. Based on the results, treatment can range from surveillance to more aggressive treatment.
“We developed it in a way to tell what else is going on in the prostate,” says Klein. “About 20 to 25 percent of men who have this test are re-assigned to a different category of progression.”
Klein is pleased with what the test means for the treatment of prostate cancer. “First, it identifies those who have more aggressive cancer,” he says. “Second, it reassures those who choose surveillance.”
Klein has spent the past eight years developing the prostate genomic test. The University of California San Francisco spent three years validating the method, and it was released in May. The test is one of many advancements in genome-guided solid tumor analysis recognized by Cleveland Clinic Innovations as the number-two innovation in health care this year. Genomic Health has a similar test for treatment of breast cancer.
“This is the first foray into precision treatment for prostate cancer,” Klein says. “With this test a management decision can be made based on the characteristics of the tumor. It’s individual decision making based on that person’s disease. That’s’ where we want to be.”

Source: Eric Klein
Writer: Karin Connelly
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