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.
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy