The opening day of the congress, 15 March 2013, features an extensive programme, with the main focus on the international aspect of urology practice. With an opportunity to attend 11 Urology Beyond Europe sessions, you will be able to get a clear picture of urology as it is practised across many countries and continents today. A full-day special session will be dedicated to the International Conference on Prostate Cancer Prevention 2013 with Consensus Conference on Chemoprevention of Prostate Cancer. During this session, a wide range of issues related to ongoing research, controversies and future prospects will be addressed.
One of the presentations will be given by Prof. Jack Schalken (Nijmegen, the Netherlands), who will discuss the current state of events in the field of urinary bio-markers for prostate cancer. He will specifically address non-PCA3 biomarkers and discuss the evidence available on the issue to date. We have asked Prof. Schalken to give us a glimpse into his talk.
You are known in the field for your PCA3 research – what prompted you to give a presentation on non-PCA3 urinary biomarkers?
Prof. Schalken: In the preceding years we have identified PCA3 and extensively studied the ETS gene fusions, discovered by Chinayan and Ruben. Using these cancer specific genes in the early diagnosis using urine as substrate is a major step forward. There are still, however, a number of limitations that need to be and can be resolved.
Firstly, PCA3 fails to identify a subgroup of highly aggressive cancers. Secondly, the number of ETS gene fusions that can occur in PCa is well over 20 and it is a true challenge to identify all of them, since that would need us to develop a 25 gene test panel.
With that in mind, I think it is a good idea to discuss non-PCA3 urinary biomarkers in the context of this session – it is also an exciting challenge for me, since I have such a strong focus on PCA3 research.
What will be the main focus of the lecture?
Prof. Schalken: I will present our work of the last three years: we have completed an extensive discovery programme to identify biomarkers that can resolve some of the issues I mentioned earlier.
Based on this we have done a prospective multicentre validation study including PCA3 and three TMPRSS2ets gene fusions. This has resulted in a six gene panel that can be tested on post-DRE urine that appears to be tailored to aid in the early diagnosis of clinically significant prostate cancer.
This will be the first presentation of these results at an international podium.