26 June 2019

Prostate Cancer Breakthrough

New Prostate Cancer Test Will Transform Treatment
Prostate Cancer | Where The Money Goes
Movember-funded scientists have developed a simple urine test that could detect aggressive prostate cancer years before treatment is needed.

This week a team of researchers from the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in the UK, said the Prostate Urine Risk (PUR) test could spare men with suspected disease from unnecessary invasive treatments.

The test - which could be offered to men within three to five years – is more sensitive than current methods, picking up how aggressive a man’s disease is and at what point he will need treatment.

Current methods are unreliable, leading to repeated biopsies and surgeries which might have otherwise been avoided. 

The Movember Foundation’s Global Director of Biomedical Research Dr Mark Buzza says: “The PUR test has enormous potential to transform the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.”

The study by the University of East Anglia, which involved 537 men, identified 35 different genes which were markers of risk for the disease. 

Dr Jeremy Clark, from UEA's Norwich Medical School, said: "This research shows that our urine test could be used to not only diagnose prostate cancer without the need for an invasive needle biopsy, but to identify a patient's level of risk.

"This means that we could predict whether or not prostate cancer patients already on active surveillance would require treatment.

"The really exciting thing is that the test predicted disease progression up to five years before it was detected by standard clinical methods.

"Furthermore, the test was able to identify men that were up to eight times less likely to need treatment within five years of diagnosis.

"If this test was to be used in the clinic, large numbers of men could avoid an unnecessary initial biopsy and the repeated, invasive follow-up of men with low-risk disease could be drastically reduced."

New research findings by UCD scientists and the the Irish Cancer Society are part of the same collaboration.