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In 2010, an NRC team led by Dr. Edwin Wang announced the development of an algorithm that determines which breast cancer patients have little risk of their disease recurring. With the help of genetic biomarkers, Dr. Wang is now applying the algorithm to predict the prognosis of men with prostate cancer. “We want to identify which men don’t need further treatment after surgery versus those who would benefit, as well as which drugs will be most effective in treating them.”
Over-treatment is common among prostate cancer patients and can have emotionally devastating side effects. “We would like our test to predict with 99 percent accuracy whether a patient's cancer is not aggressive, so they can make the best decision about whether to proceed with treatment right away," says Dr. Maureen O’Connor of NRC.