We still have a lot to learn about how prostate cancer actually spreads, or metastasizes. Current theory holds that the primary tumor is probably most responsible for the development of distant metastases.

In a new genomic analysis of tissue performed at the Johns Hopkins University using tissue from prostate cancer patients this paradigm has been called into question. The genomic evidence shows that cells from other than the primary metastases also migrate to other body parts and form new sites of spread on their own.

“The idea that metastatic tumors can seed and establish other metastatic tumors in patients is different from traditional theories that the primary tumor is solely responsible for disseminating cancer cells with metastatic potential,” says William Isaacs, Ph.D., the William Thomas Gerrard, Mario Anthony Duhon and Jennifer and John Chalsty Professor of Urology at the Johns Hopkins Brady Urological Institute and a member of The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. “The new genomic information lends more support to the idea that treatments for metastatic cancers should be a combination of t