Scientists develop prostate cancer predictions

In collaboration with the Press Association

Scientists have developed a system for predicting prostate cancer risk that could improve the accuracy of the current PSA blood test.

The research, reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, has the potential to help "individualise" prostate cancer treatment and assessment, say researchers.

Currently, prostate cancer diagnosis is based on a blood test called the PSA test, which does not always offer definitive results.

This has resulted in criticism that it can lead to unnecessary surgery, or may miss tumours that should be a cause for concern.

The new model will continue to use PSA testing, but will compare the results against other known risk factors such as age, family history and abnormal examination results.

"[The] model uses variables that go beyond only PSA level to help patients and physicians decide whether a prostate biopsy should be performed," wrote lead author Dr Ian Thompson, from the University of Texas.

The research was conducted by analysing the data of 5,519 men who took part in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the UK, with more than 30,100 new cases diagnosed every year.

Read more about the PSA blood test
Read the original abstract