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New hope for prostate cancer screening and testing

Monday June 1st, 2020

Scientists have developed a non-invasive blood test to identify how men with advanced prostate cancer will respond to treatment, British researchers have told a conference.

The liquid biopsy could replace tissue biopsies, the virtual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology was told yesterday.

The new test relies on measuring levels of cancer DNA and was developed by the Institute of Cancer Research, London, and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

The research found a strong link between the presence of cancer DNA and prognosis. Some patients were negative for cancer DNA and enjoyed a significantly better prognosis than others.

The research also pointed to genetic changes linked to drug resistance in genes such as p53, PTEN and PI3K/AKT.

Researcher Professor Johann de Bono said: “Our study shows that a simple blood test could help us track how cancer evolves and responds to treatment – initially as part of clinical trials and eventually in routine care.

“These so-called liquid biopsy tests are minimally invasive, cost-effective and can be performed often and with ease. Tracking prostate cancer with a blood test instead of a painful surgical biopsy could significantly improve patients’ quality of life."

* Genetic screening could soon replace PSA testing for prostate cancer, researchers from the same organisations told the conference today.

They report a successful trial of the technology, involving 300 men.

Tags: Cancer | Men's Health | North America | UK News

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