Better screening tool for prostate cancer seen
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 10, 2005
A panel of 22 biomarkers has been identified as providing a more accurate screening tool for prostate cancer than does the current prostate specific antigen test, according to researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Their study appears in the Sept. 22 New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers looked at blood samples taken from 331 prostate cancer patients before surgery and from 159 control males with no history of cancer. They tested the samples against a library of 2,300 bacteriophage -- organisms that express proteins on their surfaces -- and were able to narrow the field to the 22 biomarkers that most often pinpointed the cancerous blood samples.
"Initially we envision that this new test could be used as a supplement to PSA. A physician might suggest a patient with an elevated PSA have this test before a biopsy to better determine whether it is a cancerous or benign condition," said lead study author Arul Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD, professor of pathology at the University of Michigan Medical School.
More than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. The PSA test has proven to be a controversial diagnostic tool because a high reading does not always indicate prostate cancer.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/10/10/hlbf1010.htm.