New blood test improves prostate cancer screening
Swedish researchers have developed a new blood test for prostate cancer that they say is better at detecting aggressive forms of the disease than previous tests.
The researchers from Stockholm's Karolinska Institutet published their results in the scientific journal The Lancet Oncology and say the new test also reduces the number of false positives and unnecessary biopsies.
According to the study, which involved some 60,000 men from the Stockholm area, the number of biopsies was cut by a third, compared with what's common from the old screening test for prostate cancer.
"That's considerably more than we had originally thought, so I'm incredibly happy," Henrik Grönberg, a professor at Karolinska Institutet and head researcher behind the new test, tells news agency TT. "It saves a lot of suffering and anxiety."
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men worldwide. Health care professionals currently used what's called a PSA test to diagnose the cancer though the method is unable to distinguish between aggressive and benign cancers.
The new method, referred to as the STHLM3 test, analyzes a patient's blood sample by looking at a combination of six protein markers, over 200 genetic markers as well as clinical data, such as a patient's age and family history.