Blood test for prostate cancer
Enlarge image


Blood test for prostate cancer

05.04.2013 - Austrian and German researchers have presented a blood test to track prostate cancer development.

The new method offers huge benefits to patients who have to be monitored for prostate cancer recurrence by providing a less invasive approach than the currently used biopsies. Instead, study chiefs Jochen Geigl and Michael Speicher from Medical University of Graz and the University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf, took blood samples, isolated the patient’s DNA and analysed it using an Illumina benchtop sequencer. 

Genomic signatures displayed abnormal copy numbers of specific genetic markers, which indicated resistance against hormone deprivation therapy, the most common form of treatment in men with metastatic prostate cancer. Although being a small scale study including only 25 patients the presence of prostate cancer was flagged by copy number mistakes in sequences such as NCOA2, PHLPP1 and TMPRSS2-ERG. As expected each person's cancer signature was slightly different, however patients whose cancer did not respond to castration all had increased copy numbers of genes for the androgen receptor (AR). 

According to the researchers, "the simplicity and low cost of  such liquid biopsies make these genetic tests an attractive alternative to traditional biopsies. Better genetic information resulting from these tests may also help target treatment, especially of castration-resistant prostate cancer and aid personalised therapy in the clinic."  Two years ago, Swiss researchers had presented a blood test detecting protein biomarkers to track prostate cancer. However, Next-Generation Sequencing is much faster and cheaper.


24.11.2015 After weeks of speculation it is official: US pharma major Pfizer and Irish Botox maker Allergan will merge. With the deal, Pfizer is planning to dodge the high US taxes, causing indignation among US politicians.


23.11.2015 Amidst talk of the IPO window closing and cancelled flotations, diagnostics firms are still striking a chord with investors. Swedish Immunovia and German Curetis are successfully raising public money.


20.11.2015 French Sanofi and British AstraZeneca are giving open innovation a go: The two pharma giants will exchange thousands of compounds – for free.


19.11.2015 French gene editing company Cellectis has granted Servier the rights to bring cancer immunotherapy UCART19 to market. Servier in turn has teamed up with Pfizer to hurry development along.


17.11.2015 The first Italian accelerator specifically for biotech projects has been launched with help from Sofinnova Partners. The plan of BiovelocITA: to help Italy grow into one of Europe’s strongest biotech markets.


13.11.2015 Scientists in Bath, UK, have developed a medical dressing that turns fluorescent green when it detects infection. The researchers hope that the smart burns dressing will help fight antibiotic resistance.


13.11.2015 Out with the old: Roche is discarding four sites with 1,200 staff in an effort to restructure its manufacturing network for small molecules. Instead, a new manufacturing site will be built in Switzerland.


10.11.2015 Algae have many skills, but cancer fighting was not one of them – until now. Researchers from Australia and Germany have genetically engineered diatom algae to accurately deliver chemotherapeutic drugs.


10.11.2015 AstraZeneca has plucked Californian biopharma company ZS Pharma from under Actelion’s nose. The UK company is paying US$2.7bn (€2.5bn) to acquire ZS and its promising hyperkalaemia treatment currently under US regulatory review.


04.11.2015 What biotech stock market slump? Despite all odds, 2015 is set to become a new record year for the European public biotech sector, according to a BIOCOM-study presented at BIO Europe in Munich.


All Events


Strasbourg (F)

BioFIT 2015

Current issue

All issues

Product of the week


Stock list

All quotes


  • DIAMYD MEDICAL -B- (S)10.00 SEK14.29%
  • SERODUS (N)2.67 NOK9.43%


  • EVOCUTIS (UK)0.09 GBP-10.00%
  • VERONA PHARMA (UK)3.05 GBP-6.15%
  • SAREUM HOLDINGS (UK)0.19 GBP-5.00%


  • PLETHORA (UK)5.62 GBP80.1%
  • PROTHENA PLC (IE)73.19 USD46.1%
  • CELLECTIS (F)30.70 EUR32.8%


  • EPIGENOMICS (D)1.87 EUR-58.6%
  • EVOCUTIS (UK)0.09 GBP-40.0%


  • KARO BIO (S)38.10 SEK5266.2%
  • CHRONTECH PHARMA (S)0.34 SEK1600.0%
  • GALAPAGOS (B)45.70 EUR255.9%


  • BIOTEST (D)15.34 EUR-81.0%
  • EVOCUTIS (UK)0.09 GBP-78.6%

No liability assumed, Date: 25.11.2015