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.
Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover
First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
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