New test improves early detection of prostate cancer

Wednesday, 17 June, 2020

New test improves early detection of prostate cancer

Australian researchers have found that a groundbreaking new test can improve the early detection of prostate cancer compared with the existing prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, with their results published in the journal Frontiers in Oncology.

The ISET-Circulating Tumour Cells (CTC) Test is used to identify abnormal cells circulating in the blood from any origin. Monitoring the presence of CTC cells may help with the early detection of cancer. Generally, the higher the CTC count, the higher the risk of cancer.

Researchers from the National Institute of Integrative Medicine (NIIM) used the cytology-based ISET-CTC Test plus PSA marker test to evaluate the risk of developing prostate cancer in a group of Australian men. The research findings suggest that the combination of ISET-CTC testing and PSA marker testing has an estimated positive-predictive-value (PPV) of 99% and negative-predictive-value (NPV) of 97%. This means there is a greater certainty about diagnosis than the standard PSA blood test, which provides a PPV of approximately 25% and an NPV of 15.5%.

NIIM Director of Research and Chief Investigator Associate Professor Karin Ried said this is an exciting development in helping improve the earlier detection of prostate cancer, which is most common in men and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths (25%) in Australia. This suggests the need for a more reliable and accurate way to diagnose the disease.

“This new non-invasive test allows for early detection of prostate cancer more accurately than the standard PSA blood test. Improving the accuracy of early testing may also help reduce the burden of unnecessary biopsies, and can facilitate earlier intervention,” Assoc Prof Ried said.

NIIM Director Professor Avni Sali AM said that NIIM will soon be moving to the second phase of prostate cancer research by launching a population study. The institute is currently looking for 50- to 75-year-old males to participate in the research, to further evaluate the clinical benefits of this test.

“The research we have shared shows promising results for the use of the ISET-CTC Test for prostate cancer,” Prof Sali said.

“We anticipate that the next phase of research will provide more significant results as we look to engage with a much larger population group. This next phase is important as we hope to provide treating oncologists and medical practitioners with more data to improve certainty over treatment and recovery.”

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Originally published here.

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