Scientists in Birmingham have devised a new and more accurate blood test to identify prostate cancer.
Until now, the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test has been the most used but also much criticised test for the disease, which affects 47,000 men in the UK every year. Early and accurate diagnosis is vital for long-term survival and there are concerns that the PSA test misses some cancers or leads to unnecessary treatment of many men.
The team at the University of Birmingham have developed what is described as a ‘gold-plated chip’, which allows a much earlier diagnosis of prostate cancer. The key has been to differentiate between the harmful and not harmful types of PSA.
The device is still in the laboratory testing phase; currently it is too large to be portable but team leader Professor Paula Mendes is confident the technology can be miniaturised. Not only that, she says the technology could be adapted to identify other types of cancer and diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and cardiac disease.
Source: The Times