This is an important step forward, because the first urination of the day provides biomarker levels from the prostate that are much higher and more consistent. And the research team hope that the introduction of the 'At-Home Collection Kit' could revolutionize diagnosis of the disease.
Lead researcher Dr Jeremy Clark, from UEA's Norwich Medical School, said: "Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. It usually develops slowly and the majority of cancers will not require treatment in a man's lifetime. However, doctors struggle to predict which tumors will become aggressive, making it hard to decide on treatment for many men.
"The most commonly used tests for prostate cancer include blood tests, a physical examination known as a digital rectal examination (DRE), an MRI scan or a biopsy. We developed the PUR test, which looks at gene expression in urine samples and provides vital information about whether a cancer is aggressive or 'low risk'."
The research team provided 14 participants with an At Home Collection Kit, and instructions. They then compared the results of their home urine samples, taken first thing in the morning, with samples collected after a digital rectal examination.
"We found that the urine samples taken at home showed the biomarkers for prostate cancer much more clearly than after a rectal examination. And feedback from the participants showed that the at home test was preferable."
"Using our At Home test could in future revolutionize how those on 'active surveillance' are monitored for disease progression, with men only having to visit the clinic for a positive urine result. This is in contrast to the current situation where men are recalled to the clinic every six to 12 months for painful and expensive biopsies."
'Methodology for the At-Home Collection of Urine Samples for Prostate Cancer Detection' is published in the journal BioTechniques.
MEDICA-tradefair.com; Source: University of East Anglia