New tests that go beyond the standard PSA test for detecting prostate cancer are popping up throughout the country promising more specific information that both the patient and doctor want and need to know in individualizing treatment to get the best outcome possible.
These new tests, presented at the American Urological Association’s annual meeting in San Diego, involve using blood, urine and tissue samples with the purpose not only being to determine if a man has prostate cancer but also to pinpoint the exact location, grade and aggressiveness of the cancer, therefore optimizing the best course of action to take. Prostate cancer annually kills about 26,000 American men.
One of the complaints from men of prostate cancer screening is the number of painful prostate biopsies performed due to a man having an elevated PSA level. Many of the new tests aim to reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies that more than one million men undergo each year.
One such new test is called the 4Kscore, developed at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. This test analyzes four different types of PSA-related proteins in blood samples calculating from 1% t0 100% the likelihood of finding an aggressive cancer.
Prostate Health Index, or PHI, from Beckman Coulter, Inc. is another PSA-based test that can calculate if a biopsy will detect prostate cancer but not be able to tell the aggressiveness of the cancer.
New prostate cancer tests using urine samples are another new method being utilized. The urine samples give information on gene fragments of prostate cancer and can give the doctor information on how high-risk it is or not. The University of Michigan developed another urine-based test that can reduce the number of negative biopsies by 50%.
Exosome Diagnostics will have a new test available by June that can check for the presence of exosomes which are chemical messengers that can increase the cancer’s spread. This same new test was found to be 97% accurate in identifying cancers later found to be aggressive in biopsies.
One other new test called ConfirmMDx, from MDxHealth looks for precancerous changes known as the “field” or “halo” that could be hidden in biopsied tissue. The ConfirmMDx correctly identified two-thirds of patients biopsies preventing having to undergo repeat biopsies.
The purpose of developing new tests to detect and determine location and treatment of prostate cancer is to provide doctors with technology better able to analyze the genetic makeup of tissue from a biopsy. When a man is told his PSA level is elevated, he wants to know exactly what needs to be done in order to prevent any spread of the cancer and to reduce side effects as much as possible. These new tests aim to ease a man’s mind regarding prostate cancer and they look to be the new wave of the future in spotting and stopping aggressive cancers to begin with.
Patients newly diagnosed with prostate cancer and elevated PSA can contact world renowned prostate cancer surgeon and urologic oncologist,Dr. David Samadi, by visiting ProstateCancer911.com or calling 212.365.5000 to set up a consultation.