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Posts Tagged ‘Biomarkers’

REUTERS: British scientists say they have developed a lab test that can accurately distinguish prostate cancer from healthy tissue and other prostate conditions. READ MORE>

Researchers at a genetics and diagnostics firm Oxford Gene Technology say the set of biological signals, or biomarkers, they have identified was able to distinguish healthy tissue and benign prostate disease from prostate cancer with 90 percent accuracy in initial laboratory sample tests.

A full test for use in doctors’ clinics is likely to be at least five years off, they said, but their pilot study testing around 130 samples showed encouraging results in a disease area where more accurate diagnostic tests are sorely needed.

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NEW PROSTATE CANCER INFOLINK: The PSA test is far from accurate as a screening tool for large numbers of otherwise healthy men at no specific risk for prostate cancer, according to a new study by Swedish researchers. READ MORE>

“…it would seem clear to us that PSA testing is (as Stamey suggested some years ago) no longer as useful as it may initially have been in predicting risk for clinically significant prostate cancer.

Even though the specificity of the PSA test for prostate cancer still seems to be reasonably high at PSA levels between 3 and 5 ng/ml, the sensitivity of the test is poor, and PSA values below 1.0 ng/ml “virtually ruled out a prostate cancer diagnosis during the follow-up.”

This group of authors state very clearly that, “Additional biomarkers for early detection of prostate cancer are needed before population based screening for prostate cancer should be introduced.”

This does not mean that we should not continue to use the PSA tests until we have better biomarkers, but it does suggest that as a screening tool for large numbers of otherwise healthy men at no specific risk for prostate cancer, the PSA test is far from accurate.

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JUNE 30:  SCIENCE CODEX.COM: The two recently reported large randomised studies in Europe and the US illustrate that the price to pay for 20% reduction in prostate cancer deaths is high – over-diagnosis and over-treatment are great problems. The answers lie in improving the PSA test or finding biomarkers that effectively separate aggressive cancers from slow-growing ones. READ MORE>

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MAY 31: NEW PROSTATE CANCER INFO-LINK: The future of prostate cancer detection may lie in complex assays systems that can test for several markers at the same time and use the accumulated data to assess prostate cancer risk. READ MORE>

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MAY 12: DRUGS.COM: Three molecules associated with prostate cancer might provide the long-sought markers that could discern which tumours are life-threatening and need aggressive treatment, a new study indicates. READ MORE>

However, Mike Scott at New Prostate Cancer Info-Link warns it’s relatively easy to identify biomarkers associated with early stage or progressive prostate cancer,  but “much, much harder to show definitively that the presence or absence of such biomarkers is a clearly prognostic factor for a specific clinical or biological event in  the development or the progression prostate cancer from the first cell to the presence of castration-resistant disease.” READ MORE>

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