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19.10.2017 12:45

Researchers Identify Genes Responsible for Aggressiveness of Prostate Cancer

A joint research project conducted by the Virgen de las Nieves Hospital in Granada and the Genomics and Oncology Research Centre (GENyO), located in the city’s Health Science Technological Park (PTS), has identified the gene expression of three biomarkers that determine the aggressiveness of prostate cancer. The study was carried out using liquid biopsy techniques and the results will be used to personalise cancer treatments.

[Translate to ENG:] Centro GENyO, en el PTS de Granada.

Spanish news agency Agencia EFE reports that one of the lines of investigation followed by this research team has led to the identification of three biomarkers related to gene expression and involved in prostate cancer. These biomarkers can be used to predict the aggressiveness of tumours and personalise treatment approaches.

According to the Head of Urology at the Virgen de las Nieves Hospital, José Manuel Cózar, the joint research team is the only one in Europe to use liquid biopsy techniques with blood genotyping to identify biomarkers that determine cancer progression. 

The study, the results of which have been published in Plos One, a prestigious specialist journal, has demonstrated the presence of three polymorphisms in prostate cancer patients. These polymorphisms are promising biomarkers of tumour aggressiveness.

More than 300 men were included in the research. They were genotyped using liquid biopsy techniques to explore the characteristics of their tumours, calculate the amount of circulating tumour cells – which could cause metastases – in their blood, and determine the aggressiveness of their cancer. 

According to team member Ignacio Puche, the aim of the research is to gather more data about each type of prostate cancer in order to personalise and improve the effectiveness of treatments.


The researchers have been awarded more than 135,000 euros by the Spanish central government’s Health Research Fund (FIS) to continue their work on the development, progression and dynamics of prostate cancer. Funding has also been provided by the Autonomous Government of Andalusia's Ministry of Health, and the Spanish Foundation for Urology Research.