Men's Health

One step further in diagnosing prostate cancer

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the chances to have prostate cancer is rare that is; 1 in 9 men. Researchers have recently come up with a new way of diagnosing prostate cancer. This new blood test detects the cancer cells floating in one’s body.

During the research, the combination of this new blood test and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) showed 90 more accurate results of aggressive prostate cancer.

Dr. Yong-Jie Lu, professor of molecular oncology at the Barts Cancer Institute of the Queen Mary University of London in the United Kingdom says that this combination gives accuracy much higher than any other biomarker of prostate cancer.

As per the information was given by the American Cancer Society, 174,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2019 and out of which 31,620 will die in the United States of America. However, it is one of those serious diseases, many people do not die. Currently, 3.1 million people are alive who received a diagnosis of prostate cancer.

The findings of the study “Non-invasive Detection of Clinically Significant Prostate Cancer Using Circulating Tumor Cells” appear in Urology.

He explains that this test may lead to a paradigm shift. Circulating tumor cells are the cancer cells which leave its origin and starts floating into the bloodstream. Circulating tumor cells can easily spread cancer to other parts of the body.

Professor Yong-Jie Lu says, “Testing for circulating tumor cells is efficient, noninvasive, and potentially accurate, and we’ve now demonstrated its potential to improve the current standard of care.”

Long method of diagnostic cancer produces inefficient results

PSA is one of those proteins which prostate glands secrete. This is why a PSA test can be done to check if there are any increased levels of PSA into the blood. An elevated level of PSA in the blood is a biomarker of prostate cancer.

Increased levels of PSA is not only linked with prostate cancer but other conditions too like inflammation and increased the size of the prostate gland (non-cancerous).

So, In order to confirm their diagnosis, a biopsy is done. A biopsy requires removal of some tissues of the prostate gland for the tissue analysis. A biopsy is a risky method and there are increased chances of bleeding and infection.

Read also – BRCA2 a Common Mutated Gene in Advanced Prostate and Breast Cancer

Biopsy sometimes gives inaccurate results too. However, in some cases, biopsies may show the presence of cancer but that one is not fatal and can be left untreated.

How the new combination gives a better diagnosis of prostate cancer?

The combination of PSA and biopsies is simply a waste of money as well as health care resources. This may also waste precious time of a patient.

Professor Lu urges says,“There is clearly a need for a better selection of patients to undergo the biopsy procedure.”

Researchers for this study carried out a blood test of 253 males. 98 of these males did not have their biopsy yet. While 155 of them had confirmed the diagnosis of prostate cancer but did not go under any treatment. The tests were done at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.

According to analysis, circulating tumor cells in the prebiopsy sample predicted tumor cells as compared to the following biopsies diagnosis. Because of the circulating tumor cells, the team was able to diagnose the situation more properly.

When the results were combined with the PSA test, it yielded results with 90% accuracy. Researchers think that verification from different health centers about the research confirms the findings. Researchers hope that the test will be available after validation studies will be out. And it will take around 3 to 5 years.

Adeena Tariq

Adeena's professional life has been mostly in hospital management, while studying international business in college. Of course, she now covers topics for us in health.

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