Simple test could save prostate cancer patients from surgery

February 9th, 2011 - 5:48 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 9 (ANI): Scientists say that a simple test could save thousands of prostate cancer patients from operation.

Research has shown men with certain genes are three times more likely to have the most dangerous form. While these patients need surgery, those without these genes are less likely to see their tumours grow quickly and may be able to avoid surgery altogether.

Early results from a trial suggest that the tests could be available in a few years and could transform the outlook for thousands of men with the disease.

“This could one day help solve one of the biggest problems in prostate cancer treatment. For some men, detecting prostate cancer early could be lifesaving. For others, it could mean unnecessary treatment and serious side effects,” the Daily Express quoted Lesley Walker of Cancer Research UK, as saying.

Early tests have shown that men with higher levels of a gene called cell cycle progression or CPP are three times more likely to have an aggressive tumour than those with low levels.

The test can be done on small samples of the tumour removed in a biopsy.

Along with another routine test that monitors prostate inflammation, called a PSA test, it could help to give cancer doctors a clearer picture of when they need to operate and when patients can be given radiotherapy to kill the cancer or have it left completely.

Jack Cuzick, of the Queen Mary University of London, who led the research, said, “Our findings have great potential. CCP genes are expressed at higher levels in actively growing cells, so we could be indirectly measuring the growth rate and inherent aggressiveness of the tumour through our test.” (ANI)

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