New Urine Test for Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer urine test identifies markers of aggressive disease

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) For men at risk for prostate cancer or diagnosed with a slowly progressive prostate cancer, the options to track the tumor are limited. A new urine test may allow men to avoid biopsies.

Two molecules found in urine of prostate cancer patients were linked to the presence of aggressive cancer. Looking at levels of these biomarkers could eventually lead to the development of a third option for prostate cancer monitoring.

"Ask your oncologist about urine tests."

The study was presented at the 2012 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium by Daniel Lin, M.D., chief of urologic oncology at the University of Washington's Department of Urology. The study examined urine levels of PCA3 and T2-ERG, which are associated with aggressive prostate cancers.

“Prostate biopsies are invasive and don’t always pick up all of the cancer. If a urine-based diagnostic test could be developed that could help predict aggressive disease or disease progression, that would be ideal,” said Dr. Lin.

So far, 401 men are included in the study, which will eventually collect data on 1,000 men over a five-year period. Prostate cancer monitoring is necessary to identify which cancers need aggressive treatment against those that pose little risk to the patient.

"The ultimate goal is that men ...could use a [new] test to indicate or rule out the presence of an undetected aggressive cancer,” Dr. Lin stated.

Study findings are considered preliminary until published in a peer reviewed journal.

None of the researchers disclosed relevant financial relationships with third parties.

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Review Date: 
February 6, 2012
Last Updated:
February 7, 2012