Improved molecular characterization of prostate cancer for optimized diagnosis and treatment
Prostate cancer (PC) is the most common cancer in Sweden and on a global scale prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers. Due to increased awareness, testing and new treatments, mortality has decreased over the past decade, but despite this, approximately 2,400 men die annually in Sweden. In order to improve the quality and safety of PC care, we will need to implement individualized treatment for screening, active monitoring and treatment in spread disease for the next decade. Recent characterization, in part in Umeå, of localized and metastatic prostate cancer has shown that molecular subtypes of prostate cancer can be identified.
The overall goal of my research is how to find biomarkers for individualized treatment and this through both the characterization of tissue and blood.
Magnetic resonance imaging has recently been proposed to be a promising tool to increases sensitivity in prostate cancer screening with a concomitant decrease in false positive diagnoses. But still 10-40% of significant cancer is missed. There is thus a need for additional plasma-based biomarkers to increase the number of adequately diagnosed cases.
Circulating tumour cells (CTC) is a promising prognostic marker in prostate cancer and we have shown that CTC characterization could mirror the phenotypes of bone metastases, but also that specific resistant mechanisms can be identified and add prognostic information. We will explore cell heterogeneity of circulating tumour cells (CTC) by combining diagnostic leukaphoresis and acustophoresis. Using novel methods, we will be able to isolate increased number of CTCs independent of cell-surface epitopes, and enable further characterization by RNA and DNA sequencing at single cell resolution and also use organoid cultures for in-vitro testing of experimental treatments.