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Prostate cancer breakthrough as UK team develops more accurate tests | society



Scientists have announced the development of a highly accurate and reliable technique for the diagnosis of prostate cancer. The Dundee University team says they used an ultrasound process called shear wave elastography (SWE) to detect prostate tumors. The method is non-invasive and cheaper than current detection methods.

Prostate cancer has become the most common cancer in men in the UK. One in eight men will eventually develop a disease that will diagnose more than 47,000 new cases each year. Men who are 50 years or older, men with a history of prostate cancer, and black men have the greatest risk of contracting this disease.

"The current diagnosis of prostate cancer is extremely inefficient and leads to unnecessary treatment for many patients," said Dundee University's head Professor Ghulam Nabi. "Our new method is much more accurate and also allows us to identify the difference between cancer and benign tissue in the prostate without the need for invasive surgery."

The prostate is a small gland in the male reproductive system and is usually about the size and shape of a walnut. Current methods for determining whether a prostate has become cancerous include prostate physical examination (known as Digital Rectal Examination or DRE), MRI scans, biopsy or tests to determine levels of chemical prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in Prostate





  Stephen Fry, who underwent surgery for a prostate tumor, says he is thrilled with the new diagnostic test.



Stephen Fry, who underwent surgery for a prostate tumor, says he is upset by the new diagnostic test. Photo: HGL / GC images

Everyone has problems. PSA results can be unreliable; A DRE is not good at identifying which types of cancer are benign and which treatment is needed; MRI scans can not always give a definitive answer; while a biopsy carries a risk of infection and is expensive.

The new method aims to circumvent the problems by targeting the prostate ultrasound. Cancer tissue is stiffer than normal tissue, slowing the shear waves as they pass through a tumor.

"We saw a marked difference in results between our technology and existing techniques such as MRI," added Nabi. "The technique has absorbed cancer that MRI has not uncovered, so we can now see with greater accuracy which tissue is cancerous, where it is, and what level of treatment it needs." This is a significant advance. "

around 200 patients were examined. "Now we need to scale this up to create more data, but there's clearly the potential to really change the way we treat prostate cancer," said Nabi.

SWE technology is already being used in the diagnosis of breast cancer and liver disease. However, to make it applicable to prostate cancer, a special probe had to be developed by the team.

"The technique now needs to be tested on a much larger number of men to confirm how well it recognizes the aggressive cancers, while excluding those who do not have prostate cancer," said Simon Grieveson, head of research funding Prostate Cancer UK, which funded the Dundee project (with the support of the Movember Foundation).

"With an average of one man in the UK dying of prostate cancer every 45 minutes, the need for a more reliable test that can detect dangerous forms of the disease earlier is greater than ever."

Over the past few years, one has A series of celebrities unveiled that have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and have joined campaigns to increase awareness of the disease, including Michael Parkinson, Ian McKellen and most recently Stephen Fry, the comedian and former rector of Dundee University, who described this year, as he

"This breakthrough comes at a time when prostate cancer is being brought to the forefront of our consciousness in the UK, not least because of the worrying upward trend in its prevalence," said Fry. "It is therefore doubly exciting to hear about the new techniques in diagnostic imaging.

47,000

Number of cases of prostate cancer diagnosed each year in the UK

11,000

The number of men dying of the disease each year

1 of 8

Proportion of British men , the prostate get cancer in their life


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