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Dr. Michael Fumo, M.D. joined physicians from the Cleveland Clinic and from the medical schools at Stanford University and UW-Madison to publish their prostate cancer research in “Clinical Epigenetics.”

The published study evaluated men with and without a prostate cancer diagnosis. These groups were compared to see whether abnormalities existed in their non-cancerous (benign) prostate tissue, indicating a field of susceptibility for developing prostate cancer and, thereby, helping detect it.

Typically, PSA blood tests and biopsies are used to detect prostate cancer. Imaging of the prostate using MRI has also improved cancer detection, but roughly 30% of significant prostate cancers are still missed with this approach.

“Our research showed molecular alterations exist not only in the tumor tissue of people with prostate cancer but also in the benign tissue,” Fumo said. “This ‘field effect’ approach improves the detection of prostate cancer, showing abnormalities in the benign tissue can indicate a likelihood of developing prostate cancer.”

The published study suggests the same theory can be used to detect cervical and breast cancers.