Scientists say, blood test could transform approach to prostate cancer


Scientists say, blood test could transform approach to prostate cancerThree-in-one blood tests could change treatment of advanced prostate cancer that helps to extend or save lives, researchers say. Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London and the Royal Marsden NHS foundation trust selected men suitable for treatment with olaparib to perform the test. Olaparib is a part of a revolutionary class of drugs called “PARP-inhibitors”, that stops damaged cells from repairing themselves. The test completely transforms the way the disease is tackled by specific gene mutations.

Through this study, the researchers will point out men with defective BRCA genes who are likely to get benefitted from PARP inhibitors. They also tested the patients after their treatment started so as to analyse whether they respond or not. If not, it could be quickly switched to another alternative therapy. Prostate cancer stands at the second position in Ireland and second most common cancer in men. According to Irish Cancer Society, 3,213 cases were diagnosed in 2013 while 6,000 cases with Skin cancer.

Regius professor of cancer research at the ICR, and consultant medical oncologist at the Royal Marsden NHS foundation trust, Professor Johann de Bono said, “Our study identifies, for the first time, genetic changes that allow prostate cancer cells to become resistant to the precision medicine olaparib. These study gives us a powerful, three-in-one test that could in future be used to help doctors select treatment, check whether it is working and monitor the cancer in the longer term.”

“We think it could be used to make clinical decisions about whether a PARP-inhibitor is working within as little as four to eight weeks of starting therapy. This test could not only have a major impact on treatment of prostate cancer, but it could also be adapted to open up the possibility of precision medicine to patients with other types of cancer as well”, he further added.