have identified biomarkers that could help in the diagnosis of prostate cancer.
These are a group of RNA molecules called long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs).
is a very common cancer that affects older males. In many
cases, the cancer may be slow growing and may not require treatment. In some
cases, however, it tends to have a very aggressive course and spreads early to
other organs. Screening for
is normally done by testing for PSA or prostate
specific antigen; its levels in the blood are increased in patients with
prostate cancer. People with high PSA
have to sometimes undergo a prostate biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. However,
the levels are also increased in inflammatory conditions of the prostate, and
therefore, the results may be misleading in some cases.
According to a study
published in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, it is possible to diagnose
prostate cancer using a group of markers called long noncoding RNAs
(lncRNAs). RNAs use messages from DNA and help in the arrangement of amino
acids to form proteins. Noncoding RNAs are RNAs that are not directly involved
in the formation of the proteins. Once considered useless, they are now being
investigated for their association with various disease conditions, including
The lncRNAs are detected
only in tissue samples and urine
of prostate cancer patients. Thus, the test is specific for these patients.
Using a urine test which is a non-invasive test, the patient can be tested for
prostate cancer without even getting a prick.
It is thus hoped that the
new test will help in diagnosing prostate cancer more easily and will avoid the
need for unnecessary prostate
, which add to the inconvenience and discomfort of the
Not all prostate cancers
require aggressive treatment. Some of them are extremely slow growing and
therefore may only need regular monitoring. Others can spread fast and require
urgent treatment. Treatment modalities used for prostate cancer include:
Surgery: Surgical procedures used for prostate cancer include radical
resection of prostate
, where the cancer
cells are frozen using a probe.
, which uses medications that block the action of male
hormones on the prostate.
, especially in the