New blood test is 92% accurate at spotting signs of prostate cancer, study says
New blood test is 92% accurate at detecting signs of prostate cancer and could save thousands from painful biopsies or MRI scans, study says
- A new blood test has achieved much better accuracy than the PSA test
- When the same men got a PSA test, the positive results were only 14 percent accurate
A blood test can detect prostate cancer with 90 percent accuracy, one study found.
Men who visit their GP with symptoms, such as straining when urinating, have a blood test, the so-called PSA test.
But this is inaccurate, meaning thousands of men are wrongly told they may have prostate cancer and may needlessly undergo a painful biopsy or MRI scan.
A new blood test has shown much better accuracy — it gives positive results that are 92 percent accurate when tested on 147 men. When the same men were given the standard PSA test, their positive results were only 14 percent accurate. The method was developed by a spin-off company of former Oxford University scientists. It looks for changes in immune cells in the blood, which mark changes in gene activity seen in the early stages of cancer.
Pictured: blood test (file photo). A new blood test has achieved much better accuracy than the PSA test – it gives positive results that are 92 percent accurate when tested on 147 men
Professor Dmitry Pshezhetskiy, from the University of East Anglia, lead author of the study on the test, said: ‘Only about a quarter of people who have a prostate biopsy for an elevated PSA are found to have prostate cancer.’
Most of the 147 men in the study had a positive result for PSA, a type of protein that comes from the prostate. About a third had prostate cancer.
The new test still looks for PSA, but includes a method called EpiSwitch to look for changes in the immune cells caused by cancer-related changes in five genes.
Pictured: prostate cancer cell. The method was developed by a spin-off company of former Oxford University scientists. It looks for changes in immune cells in the blood, which mark changes in gene activity seen in the early stages of cancer
The combined control, called a PSE test, was 94 percent accurate for negative results. That means fewer men are falsely reassured that they don’t have prostate cancer.
It’s not clear how well it would work to screen healthy men for early prostate cancer the way mammograms check a woman’s risk of breast cancer. The findings were published in the journal Cancers.