Novel non-invasive biomarker for prostate cancer Ghrelin O-acyltransferase: a new biomarker for prostate cancer screening

  • Edition: 2017
  • Research center: Instituto Maimónides de Investigación Biomédica de Córdoba / Universidad de Córdoba
  • Scientific Area: Biochemistry and Molecular biology
  • Business area: Diagnostic
  • Status: In development
  • Contact: raul.luque@uco.es

Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer type worldwide and one of the leading causes of cancer death among men. The current biomarker used for PCa diagnosis is prostate-specific antigen (PSA); however, PSA exhibit reduced specificity/sensitivity, which leads a high number of false positives and the associated unneeded procedures and treatments. Previous data from our group indicate that the enzyme Ghrelin O-acyltransferase (GOAT) is overexpressed in samples from PCa-patients (tissues/plasma/urine) and could have a high potential as non-invasive diagnostic tool.

Goals

  • To explore the utility of the GOAT enzyme as diagnostic and/or prognostic tool in PCa.

See project infographic:

Infographic

Problem to Solve

Prostate cancer (PCa) diagnosis is mainly based on PSA levels in blood. However, PSA has many limitations as a biomarker, as its levels can also be raised by non-cancerous conditions (i.e. infections, trauma or benign prostatic hyperplasia). Therefore, use of PSA test can then lead to both false positives and false negatives and consequently, many unnecessary biopsies are performed to correctly diagnose PCa, which implies high risks for the patients, reduction in their quality of life, and also, elevated costs for the health systems. Hence, identification of novel, more specific and sensitive diagnostic/prognostic PCa biomarkers are necessary.

Innovation

The GOAT enzyme is known to be present and play relevant roles in several cells and organs. However, we have recently demonstrated that GOAT is overexpressed in prostate cancer (PCa) tissues in comparison with controls, and therefore, it could represent a novel non-invasive biomarker in PCa as its levels are also elevated in plasma and urine samples from PCa patients.

Level of Innovation

Preliminary data revealed that GOAT achieved high specificity and sensitivity rates when screened in plasma/urine samples of patients with PCa. Therefore, GOAT enzyme could represent a solid biomarker for PCa screening.

Team

Project leader. Researcher and Professor

Raúl M. Luque

Instituto Maimónides de Investigación Biomédica de Córdoba / Universidad de Córdoba

Researcher and Full Professor

Justo P. Castaño

Instituto Maimónides de Investigación Biomédica de Córdoba / Universidad de Córdoba

“Miguel Servet” researcher

Manuel D. Gahete

Instituto Maimónides de Investigación Biomédica de Córdoba / Universidad de Córdoba

Postdoctoral researcher

Alejandro Ibáñez-Costa

Instituto Maimónides de Investigación Biomédica de Córdoba

Mentor

Deputy Director of Innovation. Head of Health Technology Assessment Unit

Laura Sampietro

Hospital Clínic de Barcelona

Partners

Obra social “la Caixa”
Caixa Capital Risc