Researchers have identified a six-gene signature that can be used in a test to predict survival in men with aggressive prostate cancer (PCa), according to study findings published online in The Lancet Oncology.

William K. Oh, MD, and colleagues at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York found six genes characteristic of treatment-resistant PCa by studying blood samples from 202 men with the condition. Men who had the signature were at high risk, with a median survival time of 7.8 months, while men without it were at low risk, with a median survival time of 34.9 months. A replication study that included 140 patients validated these findings.

“Our six-gene model, delivered in a simple blood test, will allow clinicians to better determine the course of action for their patients, determine clinical trial eligibility, and lead to more targeted studies in late-stage disease,” Dr. Oh said.

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The researchers are studying additional applications of the signature in other PCa types its stability during the course of a patient’s illness, and its predictive ability in PCa patients undergoing immune-based therapies.