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New urine test can aid in early detection of prostate cancer

June 26, 2017

"Many more men have elevated PSA than actually have cancer but it can be difficult to determine this without biopsy. This test will help in this regard. The hope is that this test could be an intermediate step before getting a biopsy," says senior study author Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology and S.P. Hicks Professor of Pathology at the U-M Medical School. Chinnaiyan is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute researcher.

Prostate biopsies are done with a needle in an office setting, but they do pose some discomfort and risk to the patient. In addition, a biopsy can offer an incomplete picture since urologists are testing the prostate as a whole, rather than a specific lesion.

The combined TMPRSS2:ERG and PCA3 test is not yet available as a prostate cancer screening tool. The Michigan Center for Translational Pathology is working with Gen-Probe Inc., which has licensed the technology, and hopes to offer it to U-M patients within the year. U-M currently offers PCA3 screening alone as follow-up to elevated PSA. Men with questions about prostate cancer screening should speak to their doctors or call the U-M Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125.

Source: University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center