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To Screen or not to Screen

19th January 2016

If we can introduce a more accurate way of testing for prostate cancer we'll spare patients unnecessary suffering and save resources for society says Professor Gronberg. Swedish men will have a new and far more accurate test made available to them in March.

According to the scientists, the new test, which has been tried on some 60,000 men, detects aggressive cancer earlier and reduces the number of false positives and unnecessary biopsies.

Current testing for prostate cancer relies on measuring blood levels of a protein called prostate specific antigen (PSA). But this can be unreliable, resulting in some men having unnecessary biopsies and can lead to men being diagnosed and treated for harmless forms of cancer.

To develop a more accurate test, the Swedish scientists combined PSA measurement with the analysis of some 200 genetic markers as well as clinical data such as age, family history and previous prostate biopsies. Their findings were published in the scientific journal The Lancet Oncology)00361-7/abstract.
“There’s huge interest abroad and we’ve been in contact with several countries, the U.S, Britain, Norway and Denmark. They’re prepared to start trying it (the test) as early as next year,” said Henrik Grönberg, professor of cancer epidemiology at Karolinska Institute.

Further reading: http://www.euronews.com/2015/11/12/new-blood-test-improves-prostate-cancer-screening



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