A new prostate cancer test to determine how likely the disease will spread has been found to produce faster, more accurate results at a lower cost, researchers reveal.
Time is of the Essence
When it comes to treating prostate cancer, the earlier the disease is identified and classified, the better. That’s because early detection and classification provides doctors the requisite time to monitor and treat prostate cancers with the most appropriate and effective techniques. A relatively slow-moving prostate cancer doesn’t need to be treated in the same way that an aggressive one that’s prone to spread, after all.
Yet identifying which prostate cancers are likely to spread, or metastasize, and which ones won’t has always been challenging. That is, however, until a new research study, published in The Journal of Medical Diagnostics, has revealed a prostate cancer test that can reveal whether a particular cancer is likely to undergo metastasis — and this test is more accurate and less expensive than existing methods. It also produces results quicker as well.
It’s All About the CNAs
The new test examines a specific genetic marker, taken from a blood or tissue sample from someone diagnosed with prostate cancer, in order to determine the likelihood of metastasis. Tumor growth is driven by changes to the human genome in the form of copy number alterations — otherwise known as CNAs — and this test looks for CNAs in order to serve as a predictor for metastatic cancers. This includes prostate cancer.
The new NG-CNA test as it is called can, therefore, be used in conjunction with existing diagnosis and classification methods already employed by doctors to help formulate a treatment strategy for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer. What’s especially noteworthy about NG-CNA is that it can be completed at a fraction of the cost of other genetic screening tests, its results can be interpreted much more clearly and easily, and have a turn-around time of around 36 hours. This makes using NG-CNA an open-and-shut case.
With metastatic cancer contributing to around 8 percent of all deaths from prostate cancer in men, a test that uses CNAs accurately as a risk predictor has the potential to save lives. With NG-CNA being such a versatile, inexpensive, and quick method for identifying metastasis markers, it’s only a matter of time that this test experiences widespread adoption.