Novel Nanotechnology as an Accurate Screening and Prediction Tool for Prostate Cancer

Novel Nanotechnology as an Accurate Screening and Prediction Tool for Prostate Cancer
Researchers at the Boston University Medical Center, NorthShore University HealthSystem and Northwestern University developed a new nanotechnology capable of identifying tumor risk and especially of predicting cancer progression. The study is entitled “Nanocytological Field Carcinogenesis Detection to Mitigate Overdiagnosis of Prostate Cancer: A Proof of Concept Study” and was recently published in the journal PLOS ONE. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, with almost one million new cases diagnosed every year worldwide. It is a curable cancer that can range from slow-growing tumors (more common) to rapidly progressing aggressive tumors. An early diagnosis of the disease is crucial and it can be made through a blood analysis for prostate-specific antigens (PSA). However, this recommended screening tool is currently being debated because it is unable to predict which of the individuals with high PSA levels will actually develop an aggressive cancer. Therefore, better prognostic tools are required. Clinicians believe that prostate cancer might be often over-diagnosed and over-treated, resulting in unnecessary therapeutic interventions, discomfort and possible complications (like urinary, bowel and erectile dysfunctions). It is estimated that by the age of 80, around 60% of men will have developed the disease but not all will develop the fatal, aggressive form of the cancer. This study reveals a new method that can aid physicians on the decision-making process regarding whether or not to submit a patient to aggressive prostate cancer treatment, by helping identify which tumors are likely to progress into life-threatening forms and which will remain non-aggressive. “If we can predict a prognosis with our technology, then men will know
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