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Validation of recently developed diagnostic and prognostic markers and identification of novel markers for prostate cancer using European databases


In Europe, prostate cancer is the second most frequent lethal malignancy in men, affecting up to 5% of the male population between 50 to 75 years old. The current clinical tests for prostate cancer lead to the reduction of the stage and grade of prostate cancer at the time of (early) diagnosis. A large European randomised screening study, among others, presently addresses the question whether these tests also lead to a mortality reduction by curative intervention. The final outcome of this study will probably fall within the running period of this project. While the results of the screening studies are pending, the available early diagnostic tools are widely used in opportunistic screening. In the present situation, this results in over diagnosis and over treatment while on the other hand a significant amount of the detected malignancies appear to be too advanced for cure. Therefore, there is a growing need for markers that can differentiate the risk of men with prostate cancer for clinically irrelevant, curable, or life threatening disease, and that can indicate therapy resistance. Therapies tailored to prognosis will increase patient comfort, and reduce health system costs. This project will address this need by the evaluation and validation of recently developed promising markers and the identification and evaluation of novel markers. Recently developed promising markers that prove their clinical value during the evaluation will be validated on a sample set derived from two European screening studies. Novel markers will be identified in clinically well-defined biomaterials using innovative mass spectrometry tools, and antibody-based immunoassays will be developed for these markers in serum and urine. The novel markers will be evaluated for their clinical importance using these assays. Eventually, the markers arising from this project will be offered to Sees for commercialisation and to ongoing large European clinical studies for clinical implementation.

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