Test improves prostate cancer detection


Tuesday, 16 June, 2020


Test improves prostate cancer detection

Australian researchers have found that a groundbreaking test can improve the early detection of prostate cancer.

Published in the open access journal Frontiers in Oncology, the research findings reveal that the ISET-Circulating Tumour Cells (CTC) Test can markedly improve detection of prostate cancer compared with the existing prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.

The ISET-CTC Test is used to identify abnormal cells circulating in the blood from any origin. Monitoring the presence of CTC cells may help with the early detection of cancer. Generally, the higher the CTC count, the higher the risk of cancer.

Researchers from the National Institute of Integrative Medicine (NIIM) used the cytology-based ISET-CTC Test plus PSA marker test to evaluate the risk of developing prostate cancer in a group of Australian men.

The research findings suggest that the combination of ISET-CTC testing and PSA marker testing has an estimated positive-predictive-value (PPV) of 99% and negative-predictive-value (NPV) of 97%. This means there is a greater certainty about diagnosis than the standard PSA blood test, which provides a PPV of approximately 25% and an NPV of 15.5%.

Prostate cancer is most common in men and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths (25%) in Australia. One in seven Australian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer by the age of 85, with more than 3300 men dying each year. This number is rising, suggesting the need for a more reliable and accurate way to diagnose the disease.

NIIM Director of Research and Chief Investigator Associate Professor Karin Ried said this is an exciting development in helping improve the earlier detection of prostate cancer.

“This new non-invasive test allows for early detection of prostate cancer more accurately than the standard PSA blood test. Improving the accuracy of early testing may also help reduce the burden of unnecessary biopsies, and can facilitate earlier intervention,” Professor Ried said.

NIIM Director Professor Avni Sali AM said that NIIM will soon be moving to the second phase of prostate cancer research by launching a population study. The institute is currently looking for 50- to 75-year-old males to participate in the research, to further evaluate the clinical benefits of this test.

“The research we have shared shows promising results for the use of the ISET-CTC Test for prostate cancer,” Professor Sali said.

“We anticipate that the next phase of research will provide more significant results as we look to engage with a much larger population group. This next phase is important as we hope to provide treating oncologists and medical practitioners with more data to improve certainty over treatment and recovery.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/SunnySmile

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