In a research conducted in the US, scientists have claimed that a new blood test they have now found could change the way the disease of prostate cancer is diagnosed and treated.
Researchers hoping that the test will be available to patients in 18 months, have explained that not only is the test more accurate than the standard PSA test, but it might also be able to identify the cancers that have begun to spread.
Researchers had explained that for many years the levels of Protein specific antigen or PSA could be calculated in a test had been considered as the most reliable primary indicator of prostate cancer. But there did exist a problem with the test as many a times it was found that there were some patients with abnormal levels who were cancer-free, while others have cancers but it was missed as the readings were very low. PSA is a protein that is released into the blood by prostate cells.
It was reported that the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, Maryland, US, have developed the new test. It was explained that the test now looks for a different protein called early prostate cancer antigen-2, or EPCA-2. The researchers further explained that patients with an EPCA-2 cut-off level of 30 monograms per millilitre (ngml) of blood or higher are thought to be at risk of acquiring prostate cancer.
The researchers had explained that they conducted their study of tests on 330 patients, which even included some who had prostate cancer, and that the came up with the result of the test showing a negative result for 97% of patients who did not have the disease. They also explained that the EPCA-2 levels at or above the cut-off point were found in 90% of men with cancer that was restricted to the prostate, and 98% of those with cancer that had begun its spread away from the gland.
It was explained that on the overall, the test was successful in identifying prostate cancer patients with an accuracy of 94%, in comparison with the old PSA levels of between four and 10 ngml that were detected in only 85% of patients with prostate cancer.