Biomedical Sciences ETDs

Publication Date



Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is the current indicator of prostate health, and needle core biopsy of the prostate is the standard of cancer diagnosis. However, PSA is not a specific indicator of cancer, and biopsy may miss actual tumor cells, leading to both false positive and false negative results, respectively. Therefore, better indicators of prostate cancer need to be identified. Field effect is the term used to describe the existence of genetically altered, although histologically normal, cells that surround an area of frank cancer. Better understanding and characterization of this field should provide more sensitive means of detecting prostate cancer independent of histological biopsy findings that may miss the tumor. This study furthers field characterization by analyzing various types of genomic and epigenetic alterations, including gene promoter methylation, mRNA expression profiling, changes in telomeres, and genomic instability as reflected by random sites of allelic imbalance. Results demonstrate that this field is predictably altered in cancer.


prostate cancer, field effect, telomere, allelic imbalance, microarray, methylation

Document Type




Degree Name

Biomedical Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

First Committee Member (Chair)

Bisoffi, Marco

Second Committee Member

Orlando, Robert

Third Committee Member

Prosnitz, Eric