Highly Accurate Blood Test Identifies Patients Whose Prostate Cancer Is More Likely to Spread

Highly Accurate Blood Test Identifies Patients Whose Prostate Cancer Is More Likely to Spread
Researchers at Queen Mary University of London have discovered that the blood levels of circulating tumor cells and megakaryocytes (platelet-producing cells) may help identify patients with aggressive metastatic prostate cancer, allowing them to receive targeted treatments sooner. The study, "The novel association of circulating tumor cells and circulating megakaryocytes with prostate cancer prognosis," was published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, and addresses an unmet medical need in the sense that it offers an accurate way of predicting earlier whether a patient's prostate cancer has become metastatic. "Cancers spreading to new areas of the body is the main reason why people die from the disease. This study shows a potential new way of helping to monitor this spread in men with prostate cancer. It was able to predict which patients were likely to fare better than others, based on the number of a rare type of immune cell found in the blood. This may help doctors make better-informed treatment decisions based on the extra information, and ultimately improve survival," Catherine Pickworth, science information officer at Cancer Research UK, said in a press release. For this study, blood samples were collected from 81 prostate cancer patients, and analyzed using Parsortix, a new cell capture technology, developed by ANGLE. The Parsortix system has the ability to capture all types of cancer cells that are present in the bloodstream upon leaving the original tumor. The circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that were investigated in this study have been reported to be involved in poor patient survival and to correlate to the beginning of metastasis formation. The Parsortix system, also allowed the researchers
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