A recent article in The Guardian highlighed research at Johns Hopkins University that has resulted in the development of a new blood test to detect prostate cancer.
Urologist Dr. Neil D. Sherman comments on the news and explains what the research could mean for men at risk for prostate cancer.
Dr. Neil D. Sherman
A new blood test for prostate cancer screening has been developed by a group of researchers at Johns Hopkins University. This new test may one day replace the current blood test that uses prostate specific antigen (PSA) to screen for prostate cancer.
The use of PSA to screen for prostate cancer has led to a dramatic increase in the number of prostate cancer cases discovered. However, PSA levels are not exact and many men with elevated PSA levels do not have cancer while some men with prostate cancer have normal PSA levels in their blood.
The new blood test measures the protein early prostate cancer antigen 2 (EPCA-2)
According to the results recently published, EPCA-2 is better at screening for prostate cancer than PSA. Why? Because EPCA-2 is better than PSA at determining which patients may actually have prostate cancer. And, EPCA-2 is better than PSA at predicting which men may have more advanced prostate cancer.
If larger studies confirm these initial results, then this new blood test may prevent many men from undergoing unnecessary prostate biopsies.