Science Daily — Mayo Clinic researchers have identified the first immune molecule that appears to play a role in prostate cancer development and in predicting cancer recurrence and progression after surgery. The report on the B7-H3 molecule by Mayo Clinic Cancer Center appears in Cancer Research.

“This discovery will allow physicians to individualize treatment and observation plans for prostate cancer patients,” says Timothy Roth, M.D., a Mayo Clinic urology resident and lead author of the study. “Being able to tell a patient his specific risk after surgery, and perhaps even prior to surgery, will be a huge step forward.”

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This discovery was possible because of an extensive database of prostate cancer patients who have been treated at Mayo. Programs like these can speed the development of new discoveries. Mayo researchers anticipate that the new marker will be available in late 2007 or 2008 for kidney cancer patients at Mayo. It will be available for prostate cancer patients shortly after that.