New urine test for prostate cancer shows aggressiveness of the disease
Researchers at the University of East Anglia have developed a new urine test for prostate cancer that also shows how aggressive the disease is.
A new study released today shows how an experimental new test called “ExoGrail” has the potential to revolutionize the risk assessment of patients with suspected prostate cancer prior to an invasive biopsy.
The research team says their new test could reduce the number of unnecessary prostate cancer biopsies by 35 percent.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. It usually develops slowly, and most cancers don’t require treatment in a man’s life.
The most common tests used for prostate cancer include blood tests, a physical exam called a digital rectal exam (DRE), an MRI scan, or an invasive biopsy.
However, doctors have difficulty predicting which tumors will become aggressive, making it difficult for many men to decide which treatment to use.
While prostate cancer accounts for a large proportion of all deaths from cancer in men, it is more often a disease that kills men than one. Therefore, there is an urgent need for improvements in the diagnosis and prediction of outcomes for prostate cancer patients in order to minimize overdiagnosis and overtreatment while adequately treating men with aggressive diseases, especially when this can be done without an invasive biopsy. “
Dr. Dan Brewer, Senior Researcher, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia
“Invasive biopsies have significant economic, psychological and societal costs for patients and healthcare systems alike.”
The research team developed the new ExoGrail urine test by combining two sources of biomarkers – measurements of a protein marker called EN2 and the gene expression of 10 genes related to prostate cancer risk. It builds on previously developed tests called PUR and ExoMeth.
They tested it on urine samples from 207 patients who had undergone a biopsy for prostate cancer at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).
When comparing the urine results with the biopsy results, the study showed that the test had successfully shown which patients had prostate cancer and which did not.
The ExoGrail test also provided risk assessments for patients, highlighting those for whom an invasive biopsy would have been beneficial.
The results show that the use of information from multiple non-invasive biomarker sources has the potential to significantly improve the risk assessment of patients with suspected prostate cancer prior to an invasive biopsy.
Dr. Brewer said, “Our new urine test not only shows if a patient has prostate cancer, but also how aggressive the disease is. This allows patients and doctors to choose the right treatment. And it has the potential to reduce the number.” unnecessary biopsies by 35 percent. “
The research team was led by Dr. Shea Connell, Prof. Colin Cooper, Dr. Daniel Brewer and Dr. Jeremy Clark, all from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, in association with Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, University of Surrey, University of Bradford, The Earlham Institute and the Movember GAP1 Urine Biomarker Consortium.
Urine biomarker research was funded by the Movember GAP1 Urine Biomarker Project, Prostate Cancer UK, Masonic Charitable Foundation, Bob Champion Cancer Trust, The King Family, Andy Ripley Memorial Fund, Hargrave Foundation, Norfolk Freemasons and funded by the Tesco Centenary Grant.
Paul Villanti, Movember Executive Director of Programs, said: “We are proud to have supported the development of the ExoGrail urine test as part of our Global Action Plan Urine Biomarker project.
“Non-invasive tests that can show exactly how aggressive a man’s prostate cancer is, not only reduces the number of men who have to undergo painful biopsies, but also ensures that the correct course of treatment is selected more quickly for the patient. “
University of East Anglia