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Beyond the PSA Test

The New York Times highlights a number of omics tests that are on the horizon to supplement the PSA test that is currently the standard of care for prostate cancer screening.

As the Times notes, the PSA test picks up a large number of cancers that are harmless, so many men with positive test results end up undergoing unnecessary surgery or radiation treatment. Indeed, the US Preventive Services Task Force has recommended against PSA-based screening for prostate cancer because "many men are harmed as a result of prostate cancer screening and few, if any, benefit."

The Times reports that more than a dozen companies are either marketing or plan to launch tests that measure multiple genes or other markers in order to more accurately detect prostate cancer.

Among these firms are a number of companies who will be familiar to GenomeWeb readers, including GenomeDx Biosciences, Metamark Genetics, Hologic, MDxHealth, Mitomics, Opko Health, Beckman Coulter, and Metabolon.

But the "biggest battle" in the market is likely to be between Myriad Genetics and Genomic Health, the Times says, noting that both firms plan to build on their success in the breast cancer testing market. Myriad's Prolaris test is already available and Genomic Health plans to launch its test later this year.

The Scan

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.

Study Examines Relationship Between Cellular Metabolism, DNA Damage Repair

A new study in Molecular Systems Biology finds that an antioxidant enzyme shifts from mitochondria to the nucleus as part of the DNA damage response.

Stem Cell Systems Target Metastatic Melanoma in Mouse Model

Researchers in Science Translational Medicine describe a pair of stem cell systems aimed at boosting immune responses against metastatic melanoma in the brain.

Open Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas Team Introduces Genomic Data Collection, Analytical Tools

A study in Cell Genomics outlines open-source methods being used to analyze and translate whole-genome, exome, and RNA sequence data from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas.