A breast cancer test may be adapted to help men with advanced stage prostate cancer know – in advance – if androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) will help them.

Researchers from UCSF and the University of Michigan investigated genetic subtypes of prostate cancer, to see what the difference could predict.

The researchers divided prostate tumors into three subtypes based on genetic patterns. Their results showed that ADT works only in prostate cancer with luminal B, an aggressive subtype that affects about one-third of men with advanced stage prostate cancer.

They found that men with subtype luminal B tumors respond better to ADT than men with non–luminal B tumors. A breast cancer test called PAM50 can determine which men have this subtype!

 “We’ve clearly shown … that a test widely used in breast cancer can also potentially be used to help individualize therapy for prostate cancer patients,” said Felix Feng, MD, a UCSF associate professor of Radiation Oncology, Urology, and Medicine in San Francisco.