Two prostate cancer biomarkers help identify metastatic tumors


Published: 11Oct2019

Invention 2019-031

Two prostate cancer biomarkers help identify metastatic tumors


Two genomic biomarkers that will allow clinicians to identify aggressive prostate cancers and provide the right level of treatment have been identified at McGill University.


Market Need

During the clinical examination of prostate cancers, one of the necessary evaluations is to determine whether the patient is likely to develop a metastasis. With prostate cancer, this is particularly difficult because the many possible mutations makes this a heterogeneous cancer and difficult to give a reliable prognosis. This can lead to overtreatment of localized tumors and undertreatment of cancers with metastatic potential. Without proper biomarkers, clinical scientists are also not able to choose patients that would most likely benefit from specific drugs.


Technology Summary

In this technology, a new diagnostic test will help physicians identify aggressive prostate cancer and better predict clinical outcome. Since molecular subtypes of cancer are known to be classified by alterations in the DNA copy number of specific genes, recent biomarkers have been identified based on this principle. In prostate cancers, two of these genomic alterations were detected at a higher frequency in metastases than primary tumors: the gain of chromosome 16p13.3 and the deletion of 10q23.3. Functionally, 16p13.3 has a role in cancer cell migration and 10q23.3 is a tumor suppressor. With this diagnostic test, clinicians are able to stratify patient risk and better predict the level of treatment needed for each patient.



  • Distinguishes between aggressive and non-aggressive pancreatic cancer
  • Two biomarkers to help predict clinical outcome and selection of future drug therapies
  • Decreases the likelihood of overtreatment of localized tumors and undertreatment of metastatic cancers


Patent Status

Filed US, CA


Contact Information

Sylvie Toulmond
Innovation and Partnerships
sylvie.toulmond [at]
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