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Home Urine Test Could Revolutionize Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

No more digital rectal exams?

A simple urine test under development for prostate cancer detection can now use urine samples collected at home, according to researchers from University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The PUR (Prostate Urine Risk) test looks at gene expression in urine samples and provides vital information about whether a cancer is aggressive or low risk.

"Because the prostate is constantly secreting, the collection of urine from men's first urination of the day means that the biomarker levels from the prostate are much higher and more consistent, so this is a great improvement,” says Dr. Jeremy Clark, lead researcher.

The research team provided 14 participants with an At Home Collection Kit and instructions. They then compared the results of the home samples with samples collected after a digital rectal examination. The home samples showed the biomarkers for prostate cancer much more clearly than after a rectal examination.

"Using our At Home test could in future revolutionize how those on “active surveillance” are monitored for disease progression,” Clark says. "Because the PUR test accurately predicts aggressive prostate cancer, and predicts whether patients will require treatment up to five years earlier than standard clinical methods, it means that a negative test could enable men to only be retested every two to three years, relieving stress to the patient and reducing hospital workload."

The research team say that their findings could also help pioneer the development of home-collection tests for bladder or kidney cancer.

Source: ScienceDaily, November 30, 2019

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