Navigation Links
New Tests for Prostate Cancer Might Bring More Certainty

Gene-based screens could reduce unnecessary biopsies, worry, researchers say

WEDNESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Two new tests promise to cut down on the number of biopsies now taken from men suspected of having prostate cancer, researchers report.

The tests -- still in the early stages of development -- might also offer better clues about which cancers require immediate treatment and which can be left for so-called "watchful waiting," researchers reported Tuesday at the American Urological Association's annual meeting, in San Francisco.

Both tests check for increased levels of genetic material -- one for the DNA of which genes are made, the other for the RNA that carries the messages from those genes. And both tests appear to add certainty to the suspicion of prostate cancer provided by the most widely used test for prostate cancer, the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood screen.

PSA testing is often used to screen men for prostate cancer. A high blood level reading of PSA is often followed by a biopsy -- tissue sample -- to detect cancer cells.

However, "only one of three [such patients] is likely to have a positive biopsy," noted Dr. Rakesh Singal, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, who presented one report at the meeting. "We wanted to come up with a test that tells us which patients are likely to have positive biopsies," to help spare men unnecessary procedures and worry, he said.

The test Singal described looks at blood levels of specific DNA. Prostate cancer can increase those levels, because malignant cells grow abnormally fast and cause the death of other cells, Singal explained.

The study included 252 men referred for prostate biopsies because of abnormal PSA test readings. Singal's team found that high levels of the target DNA were significantly associated with the presence of a cancer.

"What we think will probably happen in the future is that those men who have high PSA levels will [also] have this test," Singal said. "If the DNA levels are high they will have biopsies; if low, they can be observed periodically."

But for that to happen, the results of this study have to be confirmed, he said. "We hopefully will find funding for a study in a larger set of patients," Singal said.

The other test, described by Dr. E. David Crawford, a professor of urology at the University of Colorado, is targeted to elevated levels of PCA3 "messenger RNA" in urine. Again, elevated levels of this genetic material are associated with the presence of a tumor.

In the study, nearly 2,000 men with elevated PSA levels or abnormal results on a digital rectal examination (which measures prostate enlargement) also underwent PCA3 urine tests, followed by biopsies.

The PCA3 readings were significantly higher in those men whose biopsies turned out positive for cancer, the team found.

In addition, "PCA3 level reflects the aggressiveness of cancer," Crawford said, so that the test could be used to single out prostate cancers requiring immediate surgery or radiation treatment.

Further studies are needed to determine whether PCA3 testing could serve that purpose, he said. In the meantime, the immediate effect of the new data is to help develop "a new paradigm" for early detection of cancer, in which PCA3 testing would go along with PSA testing and digital rectal examinations, Crawford said.

That combination could reduce the need for biopsies, which are both expensive, cause discomfort and are associated with a risk of infection, he said.

According to Crawford, about a million biopsies are done in the United States each year because of suspected prostate cancer. "Anything you can do to cut down the large number of biopsies has innumerable advantages," he said.

More information

To learn more about prostate cancer, visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

SOURCES: Rakesh Singal, M.D., associate professor, medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; E. David Crawford, M.D., professor, urology, University of Colorado, Denver; June 1, 2010, presentations, American Urological Association annual meeting, San Francisco

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Tests Show Top Tuna Brands Have High Mercury Levels
2. Tests showing smokers their individual risk of future disease will help them quit, says paper
3. NHLBI funds preclinical tests on devices for infants and children with congenital heart defects
4. Stem Cells Turned Into AIDS Killers in Lab Tests
5. New Tests Confirm Wood Pallets Harbor Deadly Food Poisoning Bacteria
6. Targeted Testing Receives Favorable Reviews On PADDS, Begins Nationwide Research Study On The Target Tests of Executive Functioning-OV
7. Seattle-based PhenoPath Laboratories Retests Nearly 3,000 Breast Cancer Specimens from Quebec Breast Cancer Inquiry
8. PERSONALABS Offers Discounted Healthy Heart Online Blood Tests in February
9. In Tests, Implanted Monitor Detects Atrial Fibrillation
10. Johns Hopkins scientists develop personalized blood tests for cancer using whole genome sequencing
11. Tests to Measure Safety of Anti-Clotting Drugs of Limited Value
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Silver&Fit® Exercise and Healthy Aging Program have announced their endorsement of ... , “American Specialty Health Fitness is proud to have the MFN as one ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... Dr. Kevin Day, local family chiropractor in Warsaw , is hosting ... During the Indiana winter months, Vitamin D deficiency can lead to Seasonal Affective ... to help provide the tools needed to combat it this year! , “Stress kills ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Robert Yeager CEO of PharmMD, has ... past year there have been multiple breakthroughs and challenges as healthcare reform moves out ... enabled their customers and partners to stay ahead of the curve by breaking down ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... the Business Action on Health Awards, bestowed annually to the world’s best corporate-supported ... commended companies at Global Health Council’s Landscape Symposium held in Washington D.C and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Milford, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 ... ... and manufacturer of safety signs and safety labels , has ... AFIA, the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to representing the business, legislative and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - ESSA Pharma Inc. ("ESSA" or ... today that the first patient has been enrolled in ... treatment for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer ("mCRPC"). ... --> the United States ... 1/2 clinical trial, ESSA intends to demonstrate the safety, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- Sectra (STO: SECT B) announces that ... multi-year agreement to deploy Breast Imaging PACS in ... the Breast Center a future-proof platform capable of expanding with ... announces that Breast Center of Acadiana has entered ... PACS in its two freestanding imaging centers. This investment will ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Ascendant Solutions, Inc. (Pink ... that its Board of Directors has declared a special 1 ... stock dividend is payable December 14, 2015, to shareholders of ... the form of additional shares of common stock. ... the Board is a strong endorsement of our confidence in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: