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
Level of Degree
Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Haaland, Christina. "Assessment of field effect in the cancerous prostate." (2012). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/biom_etds/50