The researchers have demonstrated that by measuring the levels of these markers, not only can an accurate diagnosis of cancer be made, but the stage the cancer has reached – whether it is still localized or already has spread and become metastatic – can be identified.
In addition, certain markers, if switched on, will hopefully give information on how quickly the cancer will develop, and, therefore, when treatment must be introduced.
The current, most widely used method of detecting prostate cancer is the serum Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test, which is only 50 per cent accurate. Increased levels of PSA are elevated in non-malignant conditions, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis and even urinary tract infections. This new test, which is able to detect one prostate cancer cell among a sample of 100 million blood cells, is 95 per cent accurate.
Because of its inaccuracy, most elevated serum PSA results are followed up. This is done using a core needle biopsy. Samples of tissue are removed by inserting a needle through the wall of the rectum into the prostate gland. When pulled out, the needles remove a cylinder of tissue, usually about 1/2-inch long and 1/16-inch across. Up to 12 needles are normally used to ensure the prostate is thoroughly sampled.
After this invasive procedure, tissue samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis, often taking a week or so for results to be confirmed.
Owing to a high serum PSA, some men will invariably have a biopsy in which the result will been negative for prostate cancer. It is hoped that the new test, with its increased accuracy, will encourage men who suspect they have prostate problems to seek medical attention early on, enabling early treatment and leading, hopefully, to less men having prostate biopsies.
The research has been partly funded by Prostate Research Campaign UK. Brigadier John Anderson, Chief Executive of the charity says: “Many men fear seeking medical help, even when they suspect they have prostate problems, for fear that the diagnosis will involve painful and undignified tests. This simple, speedy, non-invasive test means patients need not fear traumatic tests to diagnose prostate cancer. And receiving an accurate diagnosis within days rather than weeks could mean they are treated more quickly and stand a greater chance of total recovery.”
The research has also been funded by the Everard and Mina Goodman Charitable Foundation.
The test is currently at the stage of validation, with further development regarding standardisation and formatting, and could be introduced on to the market next year.
Prostate cancer is increasingly recognised as a major health problem in the UK, being the most commonly diagnosed solid cancer and the most common cause of cancer-related deaths in men. Around 27,000 new cases are diagnosed in the UK each year and there are around 10,000 deaths from prostate cancer each year around the world.
BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility
14.12.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)
Guardians of the Gate
14.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine
14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2017 | Life Sciences