UEA and N&N trial home prostate cancer kits

Credit: PA

The University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich hospital have been trialling at home prostate cancer tests. 

Researchers hope the test kits, which look for gene expressions in urine, will help with early diagnosis of aggressive forms of the disease. 

Prostate cancer tests are usually carried out by blood tests, physical examinations, MRI and biopsies. 

The urine tests could make monitoring of cancer in men "so much less stressful for them and reduce the number of expensive trips to the hospital", said Dr Clark, from UEA’s medical school.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. However, it usually develops slowly and the majority of cancers will not require treatment in a man's lifetime. It is not a simple matter to predict which tumours will become aggressive, making it hard to decide on treatment for many men.

Dr Jeremy Clark, UEA Medical School

Researchers will post kits to 2,000 men in the UK, Europe and Canada, with participants asked to give two urine samples to return by mail for lab analysis.

This simple, non-invasive urine test has the potential to significantly change how we diagnose and manage early prostate cancer for the benefit of patients and health care systems.

Robert Mills, consultant clinical director in urology at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital