To evaluate the effectiveness of the PUR test, the researchers recruited 14 men whom they subjected to a range of medical tests including a digital rectal examination, which is one of the main methods of detecting prostate cancer (along with blood tests, an MRI scan or a biopsy). "It means that men would not have to undergo a digital rectal examination, so it would be much less stressful and should result in a lot more patients being tested".
Christened "PUR" (Prostate Urine Risk), the test takes the form of an at-home collection kit.
Experts behind the Prostate Urine Risk test, from the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, say they have now developed the test further so urine samples can be collected at home. The test is much more sensitive than current methods, picking up how aggressive the disease is and at what point men will need treatment.
The PUR test "looks at gene expression in urine samples and provides vital information about whether a cancer is aggressive or "low risk".
"Using our At Home test could in future revolutionize how those on "active surveillance" are monitored for disease progression, with men only having to visit the clinic for a positive urine result". And feedback from the participants showed that the at-home test was preferable.
This means men manufacture now no longer must hotfoot into the health facility to provide a urine pattern or to undergo a rectal exam.
Simon Grieveson, head of study funding at Prostate Cancer UK, acknowledged: "We hope that this study will carry us a step closer to making a extra true and earlier prognosis a actuality for men with prostate most cancers". Lead researcher from Jeremy Clark stated, "Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men and usually develops slowly where the majority of cancers will not require treatment in a man's lifetime".
"When we do diagnose prostate cancer, the urine test has the potential to differentiate those who need to have treatment from those who do not need treatment, which would be invaluable". These findings could also help pioneer the development of home collection tests for bladder or kidney cancer.