A SIMPLE urine test can reveal whether men have aggressive prostate cancer five years earlier than currently, researchers claim.
It could help thousands get life- saving treatment earlier and spare many more from needless painful biopsies.
2 Simple urine tests could reveal signs of prostate cancer five years earlyCredit: Getty – Contributor
The check could be available within five years.
Prostate cancer affects 48,000 people a year in the UK and kills 11,000.
Half of cases cause no symptoms and are best left untreated, but doctors struggle to predict when tumours will turn aggressive.
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have developed a pee test that looks for changes in key genes.
In early trials involving 537 men, it more accurately predicted whether they needed further checks or treatment than current tests.
Dr Jeremy Clark, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “The test predicted disease progression up to five years before it was detected by standard methods.”
2 The check could save many men from going through invasive biopsiesCredit: Alamy
Researcher Shea Connell said it could also save the NHS millions by cutting needless interventions.
He added: “This test could predict whether or not you need a biopsy in the first place and then after that it can be used to predict whether or not you will need treatment in the next 5 years.
“Any reduction in the rates of unnecessary biopsies will pass sizeable savings to the NHS.”
Dr Mark Buzza, from the Movember Foundation, which funded the study, said: “The test has enormous potential to transform the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.”
Dr David Montgomery, Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “This is an interesting piece of research, which is exploring the potential of a new less invasive way to predict how aggressive a man’s cancer will be by testing for the expression of certain genes in his urine.“If the benefits of this approach are confirmed in larger trials, this could provide more clarity around whether men are likely to need more urgent treatment or can safely remain under active surveillance.”
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