A simple blood test for aggressive prostate cancer could dramatically reduce the amount of men who undergo unnecessary biopsies and treatments that made no sense. The test, according to results of a study published in The Journal of Urology", identifies the presence of circulating tumor cells (CTC), a heterogeneous population of extremely rare cells of the primary tumor or its own metastasis, which left the tumor and entered the bloodstream.
prostate cancer is the second tumor, with more incidence in Spain, behind the colon , and the first men. In our country are diagnosed each year more than 30,000 cases. Age is the main risk factor for this type of tumor. In fact, nearly two out of every three cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in men over the age of 65 years.
The diagnostic protocol, when a man has symptoms, such as going to the bathroom frequently at night, establishes the realization of a blood test that looks for elevated levels of a protein called PSA. If detected these figures, the next step is a biopsy of the tissue of the prostate gland, which is invasive and carries a significant risk of bleeding and infection. About 75 percent of all positive results of PSA end up with negative biopsies and the majority of prostate cancers in early stage are slow growing and can be left untreated without endangering the patient.
The new test, say researchers from Queen Mary University of London (Great Britain), could prevent unnecessary biopsies and invasive, overdiagnosis and overtreatment. The scientists believe the test could be available in Britain in just three years.
The researchers tested the test on a pilot study carried out in 98 patients on the waiting list for a biopsy and 155 patients with prostate cancer newly diagnosed.There is a clear need for a better selection about which patients should undergo biopsy
And the data showed that the presence of CTCS in blood samples prior to the biopsy indicated the presence of prostate cancer aggressive and predicting the outcome of biopsies later.
in Addition, when the test is used in combination with the PSA test, was able to predict the presence of prostate cancer aggressive in biopsies later with an accuracy of over 90%, better than any other technique tested until now.
"By combining the new analyses of CTCS with the PSA test current, we were able to detect prostate cancer with the highest level of accuracy never before seen in any test of biomarkers, which could save you unnecessary biopsies in many patients. This could lead to a paradigm shift in the way we diagnose prostate cancer," says says Yong-Jie Lu, who led the research.Around 75% of all positive results of PSA end up with negative biopsies and the majority of prostate cancers in early stage are slow growing and can be left untreated without endangering the patient
The number and type of CTCS present in the blood also indicated the aggressiveness of the cancer. The researchers say that focus on a prostate cancer more aggressive can reduce the overtreatment and unnecessary biopsies for noncancerous conditions and not aggressive.
"The current evidence leads, often, to biopsies, invasive, unnecessary, and the over diagnosis and overtreatment of many men, causing significant harm to the patient s. There is a clear need for a better selection about which patients should undergo a biopsy," says Yong-Jie Lu.
The test is efficient, non-invasive and potentially accurate, points out the researcher. "We have now demonstrated their potential to improve the standard of attention today."Updated Date: 12 September 2019, 01:01