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New blood test increases accuracy in prostrate cancer screening

2009-06-03 12:12 BJT

BEIJING, June 1 (Xinhuanet) -- U.S. researchers say a new blood test used in combination with the widely used prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening reduces "false-positive" prostate cancer diagnosis and could eliminate "tens of thousands" of unneeded prostate biopsies anually.

New blood test increases accuracy in prostrate cancer screening
New blood test increases accuracy in prostrate cancer
screening (File photo)

Almost two-thirds of biopsies performed don't find cancerous cells, according to the researchers. The existing high rate of "false positives" on PSA tests led them to seek a more accurate method, according to Dr. William K. Oh, clinical director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

The two-year study involving 484 participants found that using a six-gene molecular test with a PSA test accurately detected prostate cancer more than 90 percent of the time and eliminated most of the false-positives from the PSA test alone.

Earlier research found that the PSA test is 60 percent to 70 percent accurate in detecting cancer.

"The findings are very encouraging and suggest that this new test could spare tens of thousands of men from undergoing an unnecessary biopsy," said Dr. Oh. "However, until we can verify our findings, it is important to recognize that the PSA test, despite its limitations, is still the best test available for diagnosing prostate cancer at this time."

Editor: Yang Jie | Source: Xinhua