A new blood test for prostate cancer has been developed by researchers at the University of East Anglia. This test is more accurate than current methods and could save many men from having to undergo surgery or radiation treatment.
The Prostate Screening EpiSwitch (PSE) blood test is found to be 94% accurate – beating the currently used prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. The findings were published in the journal Cancers.
Prostate cancer is a serious condition that may be caused by various factors, including the presence of certain types of cells in the prostate. Recent research has shown that prostate cancer is more common in men over age 75 and that the disease may be preventable with regular health screenings. The best way to protect your health from this disease is to get screened regularly.
The research team believes that their new cancer screening diagnostic has significant potential. The test was developed in collaboration with Oxford Biodynamics, UEA, Imperial College London, and Imperial College NHS Trust.
Professor Dmitry Pshezhetskiy, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and kills one man every 45 minutes in the UK.
“There is currently no single test for prostate cancer, but PSA blood tests are among the most used, alongside physical examinations, MRI scans and biopsies. However, PSA blood tests are not routinely used to screen for prostate cancer, as results can be unreliable.
“Only about a quarter of people who have a prostate biopsy due to an elevated PSA level is found to have prostate cancer. There has therefore been a drive to create a new blood test with greater accuracy.”
To evaluate the new PSA test, which combines the traditional PSA test with an epigenetic EpiSwitch test, in a pilot study involving 147 patients, the UEA team compared its results with those of the standard PSA test. They found that PSE significantly enhances overall detection accuracy for at-risk men.
Professor Pshezhetskiy said: “When tested in the context of screening a population at risk, the PSE test yields a rapid and minimally invasive prostate cancer diagnosis with impressive performance. This suggests a real benefit for both diagnostic and screening purposes.”
There is a clear need for a highly accurate blood test that can screen men for prostate cancer and accurately identify those at risk without subjecting those who would up to now be subjected to unnecessary and costly procedures.
Dr Jon Burrows, chief Executive Officer at Oxford Biodynamics said: “There is a clear need in everyday clinical practice for a highly accurate blood test that can screen men for prostate cancer and accurately identify those at risk while sparing those who up to now would be subject to unnecessary, expensive and invasive procedures.
“This is another example of how our product portfolio can contribute to reducing the total cost of care for global health.”
The articles we publish on Psychreg are here to educate and inform. They’re not meant to take the place of expert advice. So if you’re looking for professional help, don’t delay or ignore it because of what you’ve read here. Check our full disclaimer.