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03-03-2010 | Oncology | Article

Secreted caveolin-1 potential biomarker for prostate cancer


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MedWire News: Secreted caveolin-1 (cav-1) has potential as a biomarker for prostate cancer, indicates a review published in the journal Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. Cav-1 is a major structural component of caveolae, specialized plasma membrane invaginations that are involved in multiple cellular processes such as molecular transport, cell adhesion , and signal transduction.

“The initial observations that prostate cancer cells over-express cav-1 and that cav-1 is associated with clinically significant prostate cancer have led to extensive basic laboratory and clinical studies of the role of cav-1 in prostate cancer and other malignancies,” explain Timothy Thompson (University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA) and colleagues.

“Although the molecular and cellular biology of cav-1 is complex, these studies thus far have shown that the overexpression and secretion of cav-1 leads to the amplification of the tumor-promoting effects of cav-1 through the activation of endogenous oncogenic pathways and engagement with the tumor microenvironment.”

Previously, the researchers developed an immunoassay for measuring serum cav-1 levels and showed that the median serum cav-1 levels are significantly higher in men with clinically localized prostate cancer than in healthy men and those with benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Furthermore, findings from a large population study in men with a serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) of more than 10 ng/ml, high pretreatment levels of cav-1 in the serum were associated with a shorter time to biochemical recurrence, defined as a PSA of at least 0.2 ng/ml on two or more consecutive measurements.

The pretreatment serum cav-1 concentration may be used to identify men with clinically significant prostate cancer who are likely to experience rapid recurrence of the cancer following radical prostatectomy , say the researchers.

They comment: “It is conceivable that serum cav-1 analysis would contribute to the identification of the subset of men undergoing localized therapy for presumed localized disease who would benefit from neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy, for example, local radiotherapy, localized biologic therapy, androgen-deprivation therapy and/or targeted systemic therapy.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By James Taylor

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