New test could save prostate cancer sufferers unnecessary treatment

The charity Prostate Cancer UK is backing the research. Credit: PA

A new test could save thousands of prostate cancer sufferers from having unnecessary treatment by providing a more accurate diagnosis, scientists hope.

It is hard for doctors to tell the difference between aggressive and non-life threatening prostate cancer at the point of diagnosis.

Prostate tumours are hard to classify as they are made up of many parts, meaning that those diagnosed often undergo treatment to prevent further progression.


men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year


die from the disease

However, the newly developed test involves a mathematical analysis of data collected from biopsy samples, this includes information on: genes, proteins, molecular transport, and cell "stickiness".

As a result, doctors will will be able to tell whether a cancer is aggressive and potentially fatal or if it is low risk, thus preventing men from having unnecessary and often debilitating treatment.

Dr Iain Frame, director of research at the charity Prostate Cancer UK said the new test could help them produce an earlier and more accurate diagnosis.

We urgently need to be able to tell the difference between aggressive prostate cancers that could go on to kill and those that won't. Cracking this problem remains one of the biggest challenges in tackling the disease. Currently, too many men receive treatments and endure life changing side effects for cancers that may never cause them harm.

Dr Iain Frame, director of research at the charity Prostate Cancer UK