Resolving prostate cancer: Elucidating the epigenetics of tumour microenvironment cells to advance understanding of disease aetiology and improve patient diagnosis

Prostate Cancer

Dr Ruth Elizabeth Pidsley

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research (NSW)


2024 - 2027

The Research

Each year in Australia ~20,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and ~3,000 men die of the disease. The majority (80%) of men are diagnosed with low to intermediate risk disease. These men are then assigned to a monitoring program, such as active surveillance (AS), or to surgery, such as radical prostatectomy (RP). However, the current diagnostic approach can misclassify tumours leading to a) under-treatment of men with high-risk prostate cancer (~34% of men on AS) or b) over-treatment of men with low to intermediate-risk prostate cancer (~8% of men who have an RP do not have a clinically significant tumour). Furthermore, even men correctly assigned to AS are at risk of sepsis due to repeat biopsy. Finally, of the prostate cancer patients who have an RP, as many as 17% die of prostate cancer and current clinical parameters are unable to accurately predict which men will progress. Thus, there is a need to develop minimally invasive and accurate tests to further improve prostate cancer prognosis, to increase patient survival and quality of life. 

This team’s research will lead to the development of a novel sensitive epigenetic test to more accurately determine tumour risk, particularly for tumours that are inaccurately classified using current clinical tools.


Similar research

No items found.