A new urine test, called Prostate Urine Risk (PUR), has been developed by researchers from the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and can predict whether treatment is needed up to five years earlier than standard clinical tests for prostate cancer.
Researchers hope the breakthrough could help many men who are deemed to be low risk to avoid unnecessary initial biopsies and invasive follow ups. Up to 75 per cent of men with raised PSA levels tested negative for prostate cancer on biopsy and 15 per cent of patients who did not have a raised PSA were found to have prostate cancer. The research team developed the test using machine learning which looked at gene expression in samples collected from hundreds men. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. The most commonly used tests for prostate cancer, surpassed now in efficiency, include blood tests, a physical examination known as a digital rectal examination (DRE), an MRI scan or a biopsy.
The research team was led by Prof Colin Cooper, Dr. Daniel Brewer and Dr. Jeremy Clark, all from UEA's Norwich Medical School, with the support and expertise of Rob Mills, Marcel Hanna and Prof Richard Ball at the NNUH.