Blood Test to Detect and Classify Prostate Cancer Expected to Soon Enter Clinical Testing

Blood Test to Detect and Classify Prostate Cancer Expected to Soon Enter Clinical Testing
ANGLE announced that work by the Barts Cancer Institute on the Parsortix system, a blood test to both detect prostate cancer and evaluate its aggressiveness, has yielded positive results supporting its efficiency as a simple and non-invasive test with greater specificity than the current standard, the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Parsortix is based on a technology able to detect circulating tumor cells in blood, presenting a cheap and easy option for routine testing. ANGLE has been working with Barts, a cancer institute that is part of Queen Mary University of London, to evaluate its system. A PSA blood analysis is now frequently a first step in prostate cancer detection, together with a rectal examination of the prostate. High levels of PSA, or an enlarged prostate, leads to tissue biopsy — a sequence of events that is far from optimal. PSA is not sensitive in detecting prostate cancer, correctly identifying only a fraction of cases. It also often provides false negative results, indicating that cancer is present when it is not, so that final evaluation has mainly depended on tissue biopsies. In 75–80 percent of men going through biopsies no cancer is found, and only 10 percent of those detected need aggressive treatment. Tissue biopsies are invasive, and can, in fact, also miss a present cancer. They also exposes men without cancer to unnecessary testing, increasing the risk for infection. If the blood test could do what ANGLE hopes it can, many men who would otherwise undergo unnecessary surgery could be placed on active surveillance, w
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