The blood test can both confirm the presence of prostate cancer and determine what stage the cancer has reached.
Researchers at Nottingham Trent University and University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust developed the test. Since it is a blood test and non-invasive, it may be able to “reduce invasive biopsies by about 70%.”
Also, it can “help identify patients needing urgent treatment or closer monitoring.” It will be better at this than current tests since it is more accurate. Its accuracy for determining the stage of the cancer is a whopping 99%.
The test works by using blood to look for immune system changes. It assess white blood cells, the cells that work to fight off infections and invaders in the body system.
Right now, the test being used to find prostate cancer is the “prostate specific antigen” (PSA) test. The issue with the PSA test is that lots of men with higher PSA levels don’t actually have prostate cancer. And some men who do have prostate cancer have normal PSA levels.
The PSA test can be followed by tissue biopsies to confirm results, but these can also result in faulty findings. So, this new test is welcome news:
New interventions for more accurately detecting the presence of prostate cancer are urgently needed.Professor Graham Pockley
Professor Graham Pockley is the director at John van Geest Cancer Research Centre at Nottingham Trent University. He says that their test’s accuracy at determining the cancer’s stage, or clinical significance, will be very helpful:
This will spare men from having unnecessary invasive procedures and help clinicians to decide whether to ‘watch’ or ‘actively manage’ patients, even when they are asymptomatic but have mildly higher PSA levels.Professor Graham Pockley
So, fewer unneeded biopsies and clearer stage definitions will save the NHS money and save men psychological distress.
Article source: ecancer
Featured image source: PCF