Currently, diagnosis of prostate cancer requires an invasive biopsy of tissue sample from the prostate gland itself. Enlarged prostate size accompanied by characteristic symptoms of prostate enlargement lead to a screening test using Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). Confirmatory diagnosis of Prostate cancer requires an invasive biopsy, which is not preferred by many patients.
In some cases, tissue biopsy may be false negative as biopsy has the risk of missing the cancerous cells and examining healthy tissue for the histo-pathological examination instead.
A recently published research by John Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center reports a novel non-invasive urine test with high sensitivity and specificity for prostate cancer. The liquid biopsy test identifies specific products of metabolism from cancerous cells in the prostate according to the research published in Scientific Reports.
The initial study performed the liquid biopsy test on a cohort of 126 patient with benign to cancerous prostate tumors. Among the 126, 64 patients were known prostate cancer cases, 31 had known benign prostatic hyperplasia and other prostatitis diseases, while 31 were healthy participants with no prostate related pathological conditions.
Tandem Mass spectrometry followed by RNA sequencing identified deeper unknown RNA profiles and metabolic products of degradation.
Combined investigation of RNA and dietary degradation byproducts provided distinguishing test results that separated healthy patients from known pathological prostate cases. Urinary test provided results that indicated cancer-specific changes in the RNA sequence and metabolites.
Read Also: Treating Swollen Prostates With Steam
Ranjan Perera, Ph.D., the study’s senior author and director of the Center for RNA Biology at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital said, “A simple and noninvasive urine test for prostate cancer would be a significant step forward in diagnosis. Tissue biopsies are invasive and notoriously difficult because they often miss cancer cells, and existing tests, such as PSA elevation, are not very helpful in identifying cancer.”
However, the research is still in its early stages and requires further extensive large population scale clinical studies to tests it efficacy as a replacement investigation for invasive biopsy tests.