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Research Projects

Clinical Markers for Prostate Cancer

Clinical Markers for Prostate Cancer

Dr Antonio Serafin

Project ended 31 March 2019

Dr Antonio Serafin

Title of the project

Clinical markers for prostate cancer.

Project Description

Prostate cancer screening using prostate specific antigen (PSA) is controversial due to the risk of over-diagnosis and over-treatment as most cancers diagnosed would remain asymptomatic.

Urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-type 1 (PAI-1) have been implicated in tumour aggressiveness and metastatic potential in breast cancer. In view of the relatedness of breast and prostate cancers, and similarities of the invasion process, it was decided to determine the abundance of urokinase plasminogen activator and its inhibitor in, at first, prostate tissue, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methodology.

The project was aimed at developing an assay that would characterise the presence and severity of prostate disease in patients. Tissue of defined pathology was secured from the surgeons, homogenised, and proteins extracted. We then analysed the extract with specific antibodies using an ELISA technique to determine the concentration of the proteins in question. We tested the correlation between stage of disease, age of patient, and PSA value, with the abundance of the marker protein under investigation. The plan was to move from invasive (tissues) to less invasive sample collection (blood samples) and to test the robustness of our earlier findings.



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