Urine Biomarkers Can Be Used to Develop Test for Prostate Cancer, Study Finds

Urine Biomarkers Can Be Used to Develop Test for Prostate Cancer, Study Finds
Patients with prostate cancer exhibit changes in the levels of some urinary molecules compared with people with benign prostate diseases and healthy individuals, a study found, suggesting that these changes could be used to develop a highly sensitive, non-invasive diagnostic test for the condition. The study, “Integrated RNA and metabolite profiling of urine liquid biopsies for prostate cancer biomarker discovery,” was published in the journal Scientific Reports. Measuring the levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in blood has been a mainstay in prostate cancer screening and diagnosis for three decades, but the test fails to identify many people with cancer, and incorrectly diagnoses many healthy men with prostate cancer. Moreover, PSA levels are not good at distinguishing slow-growing cancers from aggressive ones. Cancer cells exhibit an abnormal metabolism that helps them proliferate and survive, the remnants of which (metabolites) are secreted in urine. Scientists believe that measuring metabolites in urine can be a good approach for the early identification of cancer in a non-invasive, accessible manner. "Tissue biopsies are invasive and notoriously difficult, because they often miss cancer cells, and existing tests, such as PSA elevation, are not very helpful in identifying cancer," Ranjan Perera, PhD, director of the Center for RNA Biology at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital and the study's senior author, said in a press release. "A simple and noninvasive urine test for prostate cancer would be a significant step forward in diagnosis." The researchers compared the metabolites, as well as the RNA molecules, found in the urine of 64 prostate cancer patients with those of 31 men with benign prostatic disease and 31 healthy individuals. RNA
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