Highly Accurate Test Detects Prostate Cancer at Early Stage

A new highly accurate blood test for prostate cancer is giving doctors hope that they will soon be able to screen for the disease. Almost one in eight men in Britain will develop prostate cancer in their lives, and the disease claims 12,000 lives a year – as many as breast cancer. Yet no screening programme exists because the current method, the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, is notoriously unreliable – missing cancers and resulting in many ‘false positives’.

Now scientists say they have robust results from a study of nearly 1,000 men, showing a new test which looks for prostate cancer cells in the blood is highly accurate. Last night, experts said the ‘Trubloodtest offered ‘great promise’ to improve early detection of the disease.

British medics have been working to evaluate the test, developed by Indian firm Datar Cancer Genetics. Results of the study, seeing how well it can spot cancer in 960 men – of whom 160 were known to have prostate cancer – have proven highly encouraging. It correctly spotted all 160 with the disease, without mis-identifying any of the 800 healthy men as having it.

Researchers in India collaborated with Imperial College and Guy’s Hospital in London on the study, which is published in the journal Cancer Medicine.

 ‘These results show great promise and suggest that it may be possible to use this test to detect the cancer in the first place,’ said  Prostate Cancer UK.

Source: https://phys.org/

How To Early Detect Prostate Cancer

For the first time, a team of scientists at the University of Central Florida has created functional nanomaterials with hollow interiors that can be used to create highly sensitive biosensors for early cancer detection. Xiaohu Xia, an assistant professor of chemistry with a joint appointment in the NanoScience Technology Center, and his team developed the new method and recently published their work in the journal ACS Nano.

These advanced hollow nanomaterials hold great potential to enable high-performance technologies in various areas,” says Xia. “Potentially we could be talking about a better and less expensive diagnostic tool, sensitive enough to detect biomarkers at low concentrations, which could make it invaluable for early detection of cancers and infectious diseases.”

Because hollow nanomaterials made of gold and silver alloys display superior optical properties, they could be particularly good for developing better test strip technology, similar to over-the-counter pregnancy tests. Currently the technology used to indicate positive or negative symbols on the test stick is not sensitive enough to pick up markers that indicate certain types of cancer. But Xia’s new method of creating hollow nanomaterials could change that. More advance warning could help doctors save more lives.

In conventional test strips, solid gold nanoparticles are often used as labels, where they are connected with antibodies and specifically generate color signal due to an optical phenomenon called localized surface plasmon resonance. Under Xia’s technique, metallic nanomaterials can be crafted with hollow interiors. Compared to the solid counterparts, these hollow nanostructures possess much stronger LSPR activities and thus offer more intense color signal. Therefore, when the hollow nanomaterials are used as labels in test strips they can induce sensitive color change, enabling the strips to detect biomarkers at lower concentrations.

Test-strip technology gets upgraded by simply replacing solid gold nanoparticles with the unique hollow nanoparticles, while all other components of a test strip are kept unchanged,” says Xia. “Just like the pregnancy test, the new test strip can be performed by non-skilled persons, and the results can be determined with the naked eye without the need of any equipment. These features make the strip extremely suitable for use in challenging locations such as remote villages.”

The UCF study focused on prostate-specific antigen, a biomarker for prostate cancer. The new test strip based on hollow nanomaterials was able to detect PSA as low as 0.1 nanogram per milliliter (ng/mL), which is sufficiently sensitive for clinical diagnostics of prostate cancer. The published study includes electron microscope images of the metallic hollow nanomaterials.

“I hope that by providing a general and versatile platform to engineer functional hollow nanomaterials with desired properties, new research with the potential for other applications beyond biosensing can be launched,” Xia says.

Source: https://www.ucf.edu/