A urine test based on University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center research could have avoided one third of unnecessary prostate cancer biopsies while failing to detect only a small number of cancers, according to a validation study that included more than 1,500 patients. The findings appear in the March issue of the Journal of Urology.
The MyProstateScore test, which is being commercialized by LynxDX, a U-M startup company, measures levels of cancer-specific genes in a patient’s urine. It is based on U-M research that discovered that half of all prostate tumors harbor a certain genetic anomaly in which the genes TMPRSS2 and ERG relocate on a chromosome and fuse together — creating an on-switch for prostate cancer development.
Currently, one of doctors’ best methods for detecting prostate cancer is a blood test for prostate-specific antigen, commonly known as the PSA test. Elevated PSA levels may indicate cancer, but the majority of men with an elevated PSA do not actually have prostate cancer.