New Way to Predict Prostate Cancer Risk
Personalized Risk Calculator May Help Identify Men at High Risk for Prostate Cancer
Urine Test for Aggressive Prostate Cancers
Also at the meeting, researchers reported that they have developed a urine
test that may be able to help identify prostate cancers that are most likely to
grow and spread quickly.
The experimental test is known as the T2:ERG urine test. It detects
the fusion of two genes that are found in about half of prostate cancers and
have been associated with more aggressive disease.
"There is an unmet need for tests that can determine which patients need
aggressive treatment such as surgery to remove the prostate and those that can
be managed conservatively with close monitoring for signs of tumor growth,"
says Jack Groskopf, PhD, of Gen-Probe Incorporated, the developer of the urine
Widespread use of PSA blood testing has resulted in high rates of early
prostate cancer detection. The PSA test is not useful, however, for predicting
which men have aggressive disease, he says.
Furthermore, the PSA test is associated with a high rate of false positives
and unnecessary biopsies, Groskopf says.
Low False-Positive Rate
The new study involved 556 men scheduled for prostate biopsy. The biopsies
showed that 226 of the men (41%) had prostate cancer.
The new urine test gave false-positive results to 15% of men that did not
have prostate cancer. The comparable figure for PSA testing is 73%, according
to data cited in the study.
Moreover, the urine test results correlated with criteria currently used to
identify aggressive cancer at the time of biopsy, such as tumor grade and the
amount of cancer found in the biopsy tissue.
"It was able to distinguish between significant and indolent
cancers," Groskopf tells WebMD.
Prostate cancer is diagnosed in more than 186,320 Americans and claims more
than 28,000 lives each year.