Acupath Announces Breakthrough Testing for Prostate Cancer Prognosis

Share Article

Dr. Olga Falkowski discusses new FISH tests that detect PTEN genomic loss and ERG rearrangement

Acupath has long provided a full range of tests that aid in the diagnosis and staging of prostate cancer and is now announcing the availability two new tests, AcuProbe PTEN and AcuProbe ERG, which help determine the clinical outcome for patients.”

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 240,000 new cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2012. “September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, which focuses attention on this disease and its treatment,” says Dr. Olga Falkowski, associate medical director of Acupath Laboratories, Inc., an anatomic pathology and cancer genetics laboratory. “Acupath has long provided a full range of tests that aid in the diagnosis and staging of prostate cancer and is now announcing the availability two new tests, AcuProbe PTEN and AcuProbe ERG, which help determine the clinical outcome for patients.”

AcuProbe PTEN and AcuProbe ERG are based on fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), a technique that uses fluorescent probes that target and identify specific genetic mutations in patients with a particular condition. FISH provides a quantitative analysis of the specific DNA in the biopsied area and enables pathologists to determine with certainty that these cells have genetic changes.

Patients who have been diagnosed with prostate adenocarcinoma and exhibit abnormal immunohistochemistry (IHC) PTEN and ERG results can now be further assessed using the AcuProbe PTEN and AcuProbe ERG FISH probes. AcuProbe PTEN is used to determine the difference between homozygous and heterozygous loss of the PTEN gene and to determine the size of the deletion. AcuProbe ERG is used to identify rearrangements of ERG with other specific genes (TMPRSS2) or other unknown loci. Mutations of the PTEN gene are a step in the development of many cancers and recent studies have indicated that a deletion of the PTEN gene is associated with an advanced form of prostate cancer and earlier onset of recurrence giving those patients a poor prognosis. These same studies have found that patients with an ERG rearrangement, which can exist in patients with or without a PTEN loss, have an intermediate prognosis. Patients without either gene mutation are classified as having a good prognosis.

“FISH analysis offers insight into unmasking a tumor’s true nature,” says Dr. Falkowski. The presence of PTEN deletion and ERG rearrangement in prostate cancer at the time of diagnosis are markers for predicting subsequent tumor behavior. This knowledge can help in better predicting the clinical outcome, which in turn can lead to more accurate decisions in managing the disease.

“Cancer is a complex disease in which multiple genetic and environmental factors contribute to risk,” Dr. Falkowski concludes. “Its onset and progression depend on a combination of genetic disruptions rather than on a single event. At a genetic level, it is not just the presence or absence of a gene or a mutated gene that causes disease but the level of remaining activity that also influences cancer progression. AcuProbe PTEN and AcuProbe ERG can provide precise quantitative information about specific DNA abnormalities and help guide the pathologist and clinician to the best treatment options for the patient.”

AcuProbe PTEN and AcuProbe ERG are prognostic tools that are useful in determining the clinical outcome for patients who have already been diagnosed with prostate cancer using traditional histological studies. They should not be used as the sole basis for the diagnosis of new cancers or for the surveillance of tumor recurrence. For information on how to order this test, call 1-877-PATHLAB (728-4522).

Acupath Laboratories, Inc. delivers fast, accurate anatomic pathology, FISH, ISH, flow cytometry, molecular and cytogenetic analysis that enhances the quality of medical care provided by practitioners while minimizing the risk of error. http://www.acupath.com.

Dr. Olga Falkowski, associate medical director of Acupath and director of molecular genetics, is board-certified in anatomic and clinical pathology by the American Board of Pathology.

AcuProbe is a trademark of Acupath Laboratories, Inc.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Melissa Chefec
MCPR, LLC
203-968-6625
Email >