Diagnosis and Therapy
Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed non-skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in males in Western countries, including in Denmark where approximately 4500 men are diagnosed every year.
If detected early, localized prostate cancer can be cured by surgery (radical prostatectomy) or radiation therapy, while advanced metastatic prostate cancer is associated with high morbidity and mortality despite increasing treatment options.
The currently used tool for early detection of prostate cancer, the blood test PSA (prostate specific antigen), is sub optimal, leading to over diagnosis and over treatment of clinically insignificant prostate cancers as well as under treatment of clinically significant prostate cancers.
Thus, a major challenge in the management of early-stage cancers is to distinguish between cases that will progress rapidly and become life-threatening, and cases that will remain latent without affecting the health of the patient.
Another major clinical challenge is inherent and acquired therapy resistance in patients with advanced metastatic prostate cancer. There is an urgent need for development of novel precision oncology approaches.
Since 2002, the prostate cancer research group has collaborated closely with the Department of Urology at Aarhus University Hospital, to collect biological samples from patients with prostate cancer.
Currently, our biobank holds samples from more than 5000 prostate cancer patients and controls with full clinical follow-up information. We also have prostate cancer tissue microarrays with specimens from >1000 patients, constructed in collaboration with the Department of Histopathology at Aarhus University Hospital.
Aim of Research
Our research focuses on prostate cancer and personalized medicine. We use next- generation sequencing and other technologies for molecular profiling of tumor, blood, and urine samples from patients. We also run clinical trials. The overall aim is to develop novel biomarkers and obtain new insights into tumor biology.
We collaborate with several departments including Dept. of Urology, Dept. of Radiology, Dept. of Nuclear Medicine and Dept. of Oncology, all at Aarhus University Hospital.
Current Research Activities
- Development of new and better molecular biomarkers for prostate cancer
- Development of liquid biopsy tests, including ctDNA based tests
- Elucidation of the genetic basis for prostate cancer susceptibility
- Identification of novel prostate cancer driver genes using genome-wide CRISPR screens
- Investigation of the role of the tumor immune microenvironment for prostate cancer aggressiveness
- Analyses of the role of the microbiome in prostate cancer development and progression
- Investigator-initiated clinical trials for translation of our findings
For more information, please see List of research projects for Karina Dalsgaard Sørensen (PURE)