In a new study, researchers found have found a new way that can help detect aggressive prostate cancer more effectively.
They have identified a new biomarker found in urine that can help develop a non-invasive method to detect cancer.
The finding may potentially save hundreds of thousands of men each year.
Currently, these patients have to undergo unnecessary surgeries and radiotherapy treatments.
The research was conducted by a team from UCLA and the University of Toronto.
Prostate cancer can be easy to diagnose, but classifying patients into risk groups has been challenging.
Current methods such as PSA tests and biopsies can lead to severe health complications such as life-threatening infections.
These methods also have high error rates.
Previous research has shown that in 25% to 40% of men are diagnosed with prostate cancer that is slow growing and may not have any damaging health effects.
But these men still often get treated.
On the other hand, about 20% to 35% of men with prostate cancer diagnoses don’t get enough treatment, and often suffer a relapse of the disease.
In the new study, the team tested biomarkers in urine and found it is possible to have a noninvasive and accurate test that helps to distinguish slow-growing cancers from potentially life-threatening ones.
The team identified a biomarker using the microRNA in urine, making this detection tool a promising noninvasive option.
It may give doctors an insight into how far a tumor has spread and how it may best be treated.
The team tested the noninvasive tool in 149 men and showed that it works well and could be used to predict the likelihood of aggressive prostate cancer.
The test accurately identified 80% of aggressive cancers in the study. The researchers estimate that about 50% of treatments were unnecessary and could have been avoided by using the noninvasive test.
The lead author of the study is Dr. Jouhyun Jeon from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
The study is published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
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