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Prostate Cancer
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 298732, 9 pages
Review Article

Emerging Putative Biomarkers: The Role of Alpha 2 and 6 Integrins in Susceptibility, Treatment, and Prognosis

Menzies Research Institute Tasmania, University of Tasmania, 17 Liverpool Street Hobart, TAS 7000, Australia

Received 10 February 2012; Accepted 17 May 2012

Academic Editor: William Grizzle

Copyright © 2012 James R. Marthick and Joanne L. Dickinson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The genetic architecture underpinning prostate cancer is complex, polygenic and despite recent significant advances many questions remain. Advances in genetic technologies have greatly improved our ability to identify genetic variants associated with complex disease including prostate cancer. Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and microarray gene expression studies have identified genetic associations with prostate cancer susceptibility and tumour development. The integrins feature prominently in both studies examining the underlying genetic susceptibility and mechanisms driving prostate tumour development. Integrins are cell adhesion molecules involved in extracellular and intracellular signalling and are imperative for tumour development, migration, and angiogenesis. Although several integrins have been implicated in tumour development, the roles of integrin 𝛼 2 and integrin 𝛼 6 are the focus of this paper as evidence is now emerging that these integrins are implicit in prostate cancer susceptibility, cancer stem cell biology, angiogenesis, cell migration, and metastases to bone and represent potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets. There currently exists an urgent need to develop tools that differentiate indolent from aggressive prostate cancers and predict how patients will respond to treatment. This paper outlines the evidence supporting the use of 𝛼 2 and 𝛼 6 integrins in clinical applications for tailored patient treatment.