An experimental biomarker test developed by researchers at the University of Michigan more accurately detects prostate cancer than any other screening method currently in use, according to a study published in the February 1 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
The researchers say a simple urine test that screens for the presence of four different RNA molecules accurately identified 80 percent of patients in a study who were later found to have prostate cancer, and was 61 percent effective in ruling out disease in other study participants.
This is far more accurate than the PSA blood test currently in use worldwide, which can accurately detect prostate cancer in men with the disease but which also identifies many men with enlarged prostate glands who do not develop cancer, researchers say. Even the newer PCA3 test, which screens for a molecule specific to prostate cancer and which is now in use both in the U.S. and Europe is less precise, they say.
Relative to what is out there, this is the best test so far, said the studys lead author, Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology at the University of Michigan.
He also says that this first generation multiplex biomarker test will likely be improved upon as researchers continue to uncover the molecular underpinnings of prostate cancer.
We want to develop a test to allow physicians to predict whether their patients have prostate cancer that is so accurate a biopsy wont be needed to rule cancer out, Chinnaiyan said. No test can do that now.
Chinnaiyan and the Michigan researchers developed the test based on their recent finding that gene fusions pieces of chromosomes that trade places with each other, causing two genes to stick together - are common in prostate cancer, and that by overriding molecular switches that turn off excess growth, they may be the causative
|Contact: Staci Vernick Goldberg|
American Association for Cancer Research