Noninvasive Blood Test May Improve Accuracy in Detecting Prostate Cancer
Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019
According to a study published in The Journal of Urology, circulating tumor cell analysis may help to avoid unnecessary invasive biopsies for men with high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels when used in addition to PSA testing. Yong-Jie Lu, MBBS, MD, PhD, of the Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, and colleagues found that the number and type of circulating tumor cells in the blood appear to be indicative of cancer aggressiveness, which may help prevent exposing patients to biopsies for benign conditions and may reduce utilization of health-care resources.
“Testing for circulating tumor cells is efficient, noninvasive, and potentially accurate, and we’ve now demonstrated its potential to improve the current standard of care”, stated Dr. Lu in a press release from Queen Mary University of London. “This could lead to a paradigm shift in the way we diagnose prostate cancer.”
Using the high-performance Parsortix system to harvest circulating tumor cells from a simple blood test, the investigators analyzed circulating tumor cell enumeration in 155 treatment-naive patients with prostate cancer and 98 patients before biopsy. The researchers extracted RNA from circulating tumor cells of 184 patients for gene-expression analysis.
Overall, 54% of patients with localized prostate cancer had positive circulating tumor cell scores, which was associated with a higher Gleason score (P = .0003), risk group (P < .0001), and clinically significant prostate cancer (P < .0001). Among patients in the prebiopsy group, a positive circulating tumor cell score in combination with the PSA test accurately identified clinically significant prostate cancer (AUC = 0.869).
The researchers used the circulating tumor cell analysis in combination with the current PSA test and the 12-gene panel. As a result, detection predictions were more than 90% accurate (AUC = 0.927), among the highest level seen of any previously reported biomarker test.
Disclosure: This study was supported in part by ANGLE plc, who holds the marketing rights for the Parsortix system and provided research funding to Dr. Lu. All other study authors reported no conflicts of interest.