New Early Detection Urine Test for
Prostate Cancer Introduced at U. Michigan
Test incorporates three specific
markers that could indicate cancer and studies have shown that the
combination is far more accurate than PSA alone
Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., and Scott Tomlins,
2013 - More than 1 million men will undergo a prostate biopsy this year,
but only about one-fifth of those biopsies will result in a cancer
diagnosis. The reason is that the traditional prostate cancer screening
test a blood test to measure prostate specific antigen, or PSA does
not give doctors a complete picture.
Now, the University of Michigan
Health System has begun offering a new urine test called Mi-Prostate
Score to improve on PSA screening for prostate cancer. The test
incorporates three specific markers that could indicate cancer and
studies have shown that the combination is far more accurate than PSA
Many more men have elevated PSA
than actually have cancer but it can be difficult to determine this
without biopsy. We need new tools to help patients and doctors make
better decisions about what to do if serum PSA is elevated. Mi-Prostate
Score helps with this, says Scott Tomlins, M.D., Ph.D., assistant
professor of pathology and urology at the University of Michigan.
validated the new test on
nearly 2,000 urine samples. Mi-Prostate Score, or MiPS, was
significantly more accurate than PSA alone for predicting cancer as well
as predicting aggressive prostate cancer that is likely to grow and
Mi-Prostate Score developed from a
discovery in the lab of Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., in 2005 of a
genetic anomaly that occurs in about half of all prostate cancers, an
instance of two genes changing places and fusing together.
This gene fusion, T2:ERG, is
believed to cause prostate cancer. Studies in prostate tissues show that
the gene fusion almost always indicates cancer.
The new urine test looks for the
T2:ERG fusion as well as another marker, PCA3. This is combined with
serum PSA measure to produce a risk assessment for prostate cancer. The
test also predicts risk for having an aggressive tumor, helping doctors
and patients make decisions about whether to wait and monitor test
levels or pursue immediate biopsy.
This combination test is not
designed to say definitively at diagnosis whether a man has aggressive
prostate cancer, but it can provide a more accurate estimate of the
likelihood of having cancer and the likelihood of that cancer being
aggressive, Tomlins says.
The test is available to anyone but
requires a request from a doctor. For further information, call the
University of Michigans MLabs at 800-862-7284.
Prostate cancer statistics:
238,590 Americans will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year and
29,720 will die from the disease, according to the
American Cancer Society
The University of Michigan has been issued a patent on the detection of
ETS gene fusions in prostate cancer, on which Tomlins and Chinnaiyan are
listed as co-inventors. The diagnostic field of use has been licensed to
Hologic. Chinnaiyan has
served as a consultant to Hologic.
All aggressive therapies for prostate cancer have
significant side effects and perhaps these data make an argument for
active surveillance (avoiding aggressive treatment and closely following
the cancer) in certain cases
Jan. 30, 2013
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