PROBLEM malignant and benign prostate cancers. These samples will

PROBLEM
DEFINITION

Worldwide, prostate cancer (PCa) is
the most common type of solid tumor in men and the second most lethal after
lung neoplasms and most of the prostate cancer cases, are diagnosed in late
stage due to absence of symptoms. The above indicate the urgency for
development of new diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, as well as evolution
in the field of treatment. MiRNAs represent an interesting target for biomarker
and treatment discovery since they interact with various biological pathways.
Alterations
in their expression may imply that the regulation of several cellular processes
is also altered and conforms cancer progression (1).  The present research will be based on examination
of patient samples with malignant and benign prostate cancers. These samples
will be analyzed for dysregulated miRNA expression and subsequently for their potential
contribution to important pathways in prostate cancer initiation and progression
(2).

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The clinical incidence and
mortality of prostate cancer vary among regions of the world, age groups and
the amount of exposure to general risk factors. Studies have shown that African
American men are approximately 70% more likely to develop prostate cancer in
their lifetime compared to Caucasian and Hispanic men. The risk of developing
prostate cancer also increases with age and in case of genetic predisposition. Furthermore,
the general lifestyle, such as diet and hormonological therapies, has a major
impact on the epidemiology of the disease (3).  In the Netherlands, during the last decade, a
remarkable increase in prostate cancer incidence has been observed. The main
reason for this increase is the diagnostic strategies that are used, which are
considered to be quite invasive (transrectal ultrasound, (thin) needle biopsies
etc.) and patients avoid to proceed to examination (4).

This current research will be the
start of a new age in the field of prognosis and treatment for prostate cancer.
We aim to find and develop new, less invasive and sensitive methods of early
diagnosis and therapy, by investigating miRNAs that are involved in cancer
progression. In order to perform this study, we will create groups of patients
based on the histopathological characteristics of the tumors and PSA values:  patients with benign tumors and PSA levels
from 2 to 10 ng/ml will consist the “Control Group”, patients with malignant
tumors and PSA levels from 2 to 10 ng/ml will consist “PCa Group 1” and
finally, patients with malignant tumors and PSA levels above 10 ng/ml will
consist “PCa Group 2”. The patients of each group will be from 45 to 85 years
old, treatment-naïve and without distant metastases (5). The
expression of different miRNAs in biofluids (blood, urine) and tissue specimen,
will be analyzed with qRT-PCR. The constitution of the groups according to
these criteria, will help us to create a comprehensive view of the altered
miRNA expression in different cases of prostate cancer. This will contribute to
the evolution of non-invasive, accurate diagnostic methods and novel treatment
approaches.

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