Dr Amir Khan On New Prostate Cancer Test

Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine, Live to 100 celebrity guest editor Dr Amir Khan has praised progress on a new test for prostate cancer which it is claimed will be 94% accurate, an improvement on current PSA testing.

Current prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing has disputable accuracy, sometimes being blamed for misdiagnosis leading to unnecessary and invasive treatment, or for missing symptoms which ideally should be treated at as early a stage as possible.

A new chromosomal test, PSE, has been shown to pick up signals of prostate cancer, avoiding the possibility of numerous unnecessary biopsies in men with no cancer, or a negative PSA test providing false reassurance. Dr Jon Burrows, chief executive at Oxford Biodynamics, said: “There is a clear need in everyday clinical practice for a highly accurate blood test that can screen men for prostate cancer.”

A collaboration between Oxford BioDynamics, Imperial College and the University of East Anglia (UEA) found that a new blood test is a better diagnostic tool than PSA testing. “This new PSE test is accurate, rapid, minimally invasive and inexpensive,” the research team says. A pilot study evaluated 147 cancer patients using the new chromosomal test, producing accurate results 94 percent of the time. The research will go on to study men whose cancer status is unknown.


Professor Dmitry Pshezhetskiy, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and kills one man every 45 minutes in the UK. There is currently no single test for prostate cancer, but PSA blood tests are among the most used, alongside physical examinations, MRI scans and biopsies. But only about a quarter of people who have a prostate biopsy due to an elevated PSA level are found to have prostate cancer. There has therefore been a drive to create a new blood test with greater accuracy.

“When tested in the context of screening a population at risk, the PSE test yields a rapid and minimally invasive prostate cancer diagnosis with impressive performance.”

The typical problem with diagnosing prostate cancer is that when the cancerous tumour is small, there are typically no symptoms, but once the tumour has grown large enough to press onto the urethra, causing symptoms such as difficulty urinating, the only possible treatment can be highly invasive.

Speaking on Lorraine, Dr Amir Khan said: “It’s really, really good – anything that can help in diagnosing prostate cancer earlier is key. We’re still a while off offering this to patients, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

See also: Keeping Their Noses Clean – Nasal Hygiene for Kids Explained

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