New marker in urine may improve on PSA testing, reduce unnecessary biopsies
Men middle-aged and older routinely get blood tests for prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, to screen for prostate cancer. However, PSA testing has shortcomings: many men with elevated PSAs don’t have prostate cancer and undergo unnecessary biopsies, which can cause infertility, incontinence, and impotence. Other men do have prostate cancer, but have normal PSAs, allowing the cancer to spread undetected. A preliminary study from Children’s Hospital Boston, led by Dr. Bruce Zetter, shows that a simple urine test may improve upon PSA screening. Results appear in the Jan. 21 online edition of the journal Prostate.
Zetter, a researcher in the Vascular Biology Program at Children’s, is interested in the role of cell motility -- cells’ ability to move and travel -- in helping cancers to metastasize. He became especially interested in thymosin ß15, a protein that stimulates cell migration and promotes metastasis in prostate cancer. Unlike PSA, it is produced almost exclusively by cancer cells, and is detectable in urine.
Bess Andrews | EurekAlert!
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The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
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