Health Watch - Cancer Advances: Predicting Cancer's Return

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about recent research into predicting, preventing and treating cancer. One worry for cancer survivors is that they might have to fight the same battle with cancer all over again if the cancer comes back. Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that a simple blood test can predict whether the cancer will spread or return in patients who’ve had surgery for prostate cancer.

Dr. Claus Roehrborn, chairman of urology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says being able to identify patients at risk for further cancer means doctors can give them additional treatment and increase their chances of a permanent cure. The test looks for a group of biomarkers found in the blood. Levels of these particular biomarkers predict the risk of cancer returning. In a study, the test was more than 86 percent accurate. Currently available tests are only about 70 percent accurate.

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UT Southwestern’s clinical services in cancer treatment.


February 2009

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