Assessing Genomic Biomarkers to Enhance Precision Medicine in Prostate Cancer

By Robert Dillard - Last Updated: August 23, 2022

As researchers aim to develop prostate cancer (PCa) treatments specific to patient clinico-genomic phenotypes, they face the reality that there remains a scarcity of predictive biomarkers related to therapeutic response to radiation and/or adjunctive treatments in PCa patients who are treated for radiotherapy, according to a study published in The Prostate.

“Historically, oncologists have been limited to using clinical features such as radiographic and histopathologic findings to infer the disease course despite recognizing the complex and diverse genetic and molecular alterations involved in tumorigenesis. With the identification of driver mutations and subsequent development of targeted therapies, a more personalized approach to treatment became possible. The advent of affordable and efficient next-generation sequencing (NGS) allowed for whole-genome, whole-exome, limited panel, transcriptome, and epigenetic sequencing to become increasingly utilized,” the researchers wrote.

The investigators performed a literature review to assess the use of tumor genomics in managing prostate cancer, specifically as it relates to disease management via radiotherapy and/or adjunctive therapies in conjunction with radiotherapy.

The review showed that there are several current biomarkers that have consistently showed to enhance risk stratification for patients with aggressive PCa. However, the researchers wrote, “Though the evidence and clinical utility of prognostic genomic biomarkers is mounting, there unfortunately is a scarcity of biomarkers predicting therapeutic response to radiation and/or adjunctive treatments in PCa patients treated with radiotherapy.”