ORLANDO. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - In 2015, more than 220,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Almost 30,000 of those men will die. A routine PSA test and rectal exam is the best way to catch this cancer right now, but there could be a faster and more accurate test on its way.
Seventy-four-year-old Ralph Jordan is a successful entrepreneur, a father, and now a prostate cancer survivor. A strong family history of the disease prompted Ralph to get tested yearly.
“My PSA was like a 2.5.This time it was a four,” Ralph told Ivanhoe.
Ralph was lucky. Doctors caught the cancer early. But it doesn’t mean the PSA test is foolproof.
“The problem with PSA is that other things can also elevate the PSA which are noncancerous and sometimes you can have cancer without an elevation in PSA,” Vipul Patel, MD, Director of the Global Robotics Institute at Florida Hospital told Ivanhoe.
Researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in Orlando are working to more accurately diagnose prostate cancer, starting with a set of RNA molecules believed to regulate cell development.
“We were able to identify some of these RNAs being secreted in the urine of the prostate cancer patients,” Ranjan Perera, PhD, Associate Professor at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute said.
The team examined the urine and tissue samples of prostate cancer patients with those who did not have cancer and found the RNA levels were higher in those with cancer. Researchers say the RNAs are easily detected in urine.
“Our hope is that we can develop a urine test that would be a better biomarker for diagnosing prostate cancer,” Dr. Patel said.
New screening that could be faster, more accurate, and end up saving even more lives.
Professor Perera said the next step is to initiate a wide-scale clinical trial. He believes that the clinical study will be completed and a urine test will be developed and ready for use in three to five years.