In the field of Urology, every patient’s journey is unique, and sometimes, the unexpected can unfold. Kara Cossis, a certified physician assistant and director of advanced practice providers at Chesapeake Urology in Maryland, recently shared a compelling story that shed light on the importance of genetic testing and personalized treatment in the management of prostate cancer.

The story revolves around a prostate cancer patient who underwent a radical prostatectomy but unfortunately experienced biochemical recurrence. Despite receiving hormonal agents, his response to treatment wasn’t ideal. Even though his testosterone levels were low, his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) continued to rise, going against expectations.

Kara, intrigued by this case, said “if something unusual is happening with a patient, they probably have something in their germline that is abnormal and should be a differential to think about getting genetic testing done.”

Kara advocated for genetic testing for this patient to find out the cause of the unusual response to treatment. The results of the germline test, MyRisk®, and somatic test, Precise Tumor™,  showed that the patient indeed carried an abnormal gene, not only in his germline but also in his somatic test. This provided critical insights into his condition and presented an opportunity for targeted therapy, like PARP inhibitors, a class of drugs known for their effectiveness against specific genetic mutations.

This story serves as a reminder of the role that genetic testing plays in personalizing prostate cancer care. Identifying genetic mutations can uncover crucial information that can guide treatment decisions and improve patient outcomes.

Learn more about genetic testing for prostate cancer