Technology Saves Men from Biopsies
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Thousands of men suspected to have prostate cancer may ultimately be saved from needless biopsies with new technology. According to data presented last week at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C., proteomics shows the potential to detect numerous cancers and evaluate treatment.
Proteomics is the technical name for the analysis of protein patterns in blood samples. Researchers from the University of California at Irvine, the FDA, the National Cancer Institute and the University of North Carolina examined blood samples from 154 men with PSA levels between 2.5 nanograms per milliliter and 15 nanograms per milliliter, or who had abnormal physical exams. These PSA scores generally place men at a higher than normal likelihood of having cancer.
Approximately 30 percent of the men in the study who underwent biopsy developed cancer. Based on proteomic profiles, 67 percent of the men with negative biopsies would have avoided an unnecessary biopsy without any cancers being missed.
The American Cancer Society estimates there will be more than 91,000 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States this year, causing nearly 29,000 deaths.
Researchers hope proteomic pattern profiling can ultimately be used to determine which cancers need to be treated aggressively and which can be safely followed. They have also used the technique to distinguish ovarian cancer patients from healthy women.
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SOURCE: Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, Washington, D.C., July 11-14, 2003