November – prostate cancer awareness month

Posted on 19-11-2013

MultiMarker Methylation (M3) Prostate cancer assay on the hunt for industry partners

The M3 assay, developed by  Prof. M. Bollen and Prof. A. Van Eynde (KULeuven ) with the support of Fournier-Majoie Foundation is answering an unmet need for a reliable and specific biomarker to predict disease progression and to discriminate between treatment options in prostate cancer.

As Prostate cancer is one of most prevalent (about 1 million diagnoses/year) and deadliest cancers in men, the market for Prostate cancer screening and follow-up is enormous. Currently, Prostate cancer screening is mainly performed by a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. However, the low diagnostic and prognostic values of these tests have resulted in a serious over-diagnosis and over-treatment of Prostate cancer. Since the risks associated with the current screening methods do not outweigh their potential benefits, there is an urgent need for novel, accurate and predictive tools in Prostate cancer analysis.

For this reason the Laboratory of Biosignaling & Therapeutics (KULeuven) under supervision of Prof. M. Bollen and Prof. A. Van Eynde has developed – with the support of Fournier-Majoie Foundation - the M3 assay.
The MultiMarker Methylation (M3) assay reliably and quantitatively detects the DNA methylation status of 10 genes linked to prostate cancer (PCa). The M3 assay, which is based on a two-step, methylation-specific PCR technology, allows the simultaneous detection of the DNA methylation status of diagnostic and prognostic Prostate cancer genes.

The assay:

  • is an accurate and sensitive molecular diagnostic and prognostic test (specificity of 98% and sensitivity of 96-100%).
  • can be used, together with current tools (such as nomograms, clinic TNM staging, biopsy Gleason score), for more accurate diagnosis and prognosis of aggressiveness of the tumor
  • should considerably reduce over-treatment and as such reduce overall cost to the healthcare system.

We are currently looking  for an industry partner to help bring this test to the market.
You want to know more on this project ? Visit the dedicated webpage.