Scientists at the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot say they are a step closer to developing a better method to screen for prostate cancer, marking a significant leap forward in removing guesswork from the process.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men around the world, but the main method of testing, screening for increased levels of prostate-specific antigens (PSA) in the blood, remains controversial.
Studies have shown that elevated PSA levels can sometimes show up years before a cancer develops or in benign conditions, leading to unnecessary biopsies and anxiety.
“There are still questions about whether the benefits of screening outweigh the risks for most men,” the American Cancer Society says on its website.
However, Micromedic Technologies says its an initial test of its Celldetect technology managed to detect or rule out cancer in urine samples more accurately than the PSA test.
Relying on a clinical study with 59 urine samples at Kaplan, which has been working with CellDetect for the last two years in developing the screening product, the company arrived at a high sensitivity rate of 91.3 percent, meaning it could rule out cancer accurately in most patients.
The company also reported a 75% specificity rate, meaning it could detect cancer in three-quarters of people who had it.
“The currently available diagnostic testing is known to be unreliable,” said Micromedic CEO, Guy Lerner. “With these clinical study results, we have the potential to transform prostate cancer diagnostics, offering patients a non-invasive, accurate and reliable test, and one that could improve the healthcare system through considerable cost savings.”
Tests of CellDetect have previously proven similarly high efficacy rates for detecting cervical and bladder cancer, though the product has yet to receive approval from the US Food and Drug Administration.