SARASOTA, Fla. – (June 19, 2023) – Historically, prostate cancer has been diagnosed using the clinical stage and characteristics of the tumor to help predict its aggressiveness and outcomes of cancer treatment. But a new study by local urologist Robert I. Carey, MD PhD, and research colleagues Genesis G. Dolgetta, BS, and Tonya King, PhD, from Sarasota Memorial’s Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute and Sarasota Memorial Research Institute has pinpointed a single gene that may increase a patient’s risk of early death.
Dr. Carey said the predictive value of the AURKA gene provides new benefits to help treat patients with prostate cancer at Sarasota Memorial’s Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute.
“The science of prostate cancer genomics has advanced to the point that expression of a single gene, AURKA, has superior predictive value for death by prostate cancer than all our previous gold standard paradigms of clinical stage and gleason grade group,” said Dr. Carey. “From the moment of an elevated prostate specific antigen test to a new diagnosis of prostate cancer, all patients should receive careful counseling from a urologic oncologist including the use of genomics in their discussions.”
While there are thousands of genes associated with the development and progression of prostate cancer, this study is groundbreaking, Dr. Carey said, because the research team is the first to identify the individual genes systematically and mathematically that are associated with progression to death by prostate cancer. The study, Correlation of Post-Prostatectomy Decipher Genomic Classification to Clinical Outcomes in Prostate Cancer over 8-year follow-up, evaluated how the expression of individual genes and groups of genomic signatures predicted actual clinical outcomes in 197 patients that underwent robotic prostatectomy. Results of the study were presented at the 2023 American Urologic Association Annual Meeting in Chicago in (add date or month/year).
Among other findings, the study found that AURKA gene expression is a better predictor of DSM (Disease Specific Mortality) at 8-year follow-up than clinical T stage, Gleason grade group and the Decipher Risk score itself (the most common systems doctors use to stratify the risk of prostate cancer). High AURKA expression in post-prostatectomy genomic analysis is linked to early death from prostate cancer. Researchers continue to study the genetic link to determine whether targeted therapies can minimize or reverse that risk.
About Robert I Carey, MD PhD
Dr. Carey’s breadth of experience includes a comprehensive range of surgical techniques, and he has been performing robotic surgery for prostate cancer for more than 20 years. Fellowship-trained in robotic surgery, his career spans four decades of research, teaching, and surgical innovation in both academic and private practice settings in the United States and Europe, including a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NIH fellowship at Harvard University. His practice and specialty focus include counseling men with elevated prostate specific antigen tests and new diagnoses for prostate cancer. Dr. Carey specializes in reducing the number of unnecessary prostate biopsies, improving the accuracy of prostate biopsies, MRI Fusion technology, and prostate cancer genomics. Dr Carey is a physician member of Sarasota Memorial’s Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute and experienced investigator with the Sarasota Memorial Research Institute whose research has been supported by the Burzik Foundation.
About the Sarasota Memorial Research Institute
Sarasota Memorial Research Institute (SMRI) provides advanced research services and a highly qualified staff that advances the latest treatment options for patients in our community. Located on Sarasota Memorial Health Care System’s Sarasota campus, the Institute provides the knowledge, expertise, and infrastructure essential to evaluate and manage innovative drug, device, registry, and biospecimen clinical trials. SMRI offers research trials across a wide spectrum of disease processes, including cardiology, infectious disease, gastroenterology, neurology, oncology, pulmonology, urology, vascular, and more. For more information about clinical studies or participating in clinical trials, contact the Sarasota Memorial Research Institute at (941) 917-2225.