A study published today (9th October) in The Lancet
Oncology suggests that a new blood test looking at gene activity
shows potential to be used in distinguishing between
aggressive and non-aggressive forms of prostate cancer.
The study was led by the Institute of Cancer Research and The
Royal Marsden NHS Foundation trust - and part funded by Prostate
A second study from Professor William Oh at the Tisch Cancer
Institute of Mount Sinai School of Medicine (USA), also published
today in The Lancet Oncology, also hints at the discovery of a
similar promising test.
Dr Kate Holmes, Head of Research at Prostate Cancer UK, said:
"The results from these studies provide a very early indication
that the aggressiveness of a man's prostate cancer could be
determined by testing for the presence of specific genes in his
blood. For years it has been extremely difficult to try and
predict which men have very aggressive tumours and which do not. We
are therefore encouraged by news of research, part funded by
Prostate Cancer UK, that may have taken a step towards finding a
test that can finally draw this distinction.
"If these early findings can be confirmed by much larger studies
over time this method could potentially be used to help inform how
aggressive a tumour will be and empower men and their clinicians to
make much more informed decisions about which treatments are best
for their individual circumstances. We look forward to seeing the
results of further research and hope it confirms the findings
hinted at today."
Thanks to the support of The Movember Foundation, Prostate
Cancer UK has recently announced the tripling of its research spend
to a record £25 million over the next 3 years, making it the
largest funder of prostate cancer research in the UK.