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December 2019

Home urine test for prostate cancer could revolutionise diagnosis

A simple urine test under development for prostate cancer detection can now use urine samples collected at home, according to new research from University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Scientists pioneered the test which diagnoses aggressive prostate cancer and predicts whether or not patients will require treatment up to five years earlier than standard clinical methods.

Their latest study shows how the ‘PUR’ test (Prostate Urine Risk) could be performed on samples collected at home, so men don’t have to come into the clinic to provide a urine sample – or have to undergo a digital rectal examination.

The first urination of the day provides higher and more consistent biomarker levels than samples taken later in the day. Being able to provide a urine sample at home that can be posted off for analysis could provide vital information about whether a cancer is aggressive or ‘low risk’.

‘Using our At Home test could in future revolutionise how those on “active surveillance” are monitored for disease progression, with men only having to visit the clinic for a positive urine result. This is in contrast to the current situation where men are recalled to the clinic every six to 12 months for painful and expensive biopsies,’ researchers said.

  • See this month’s article ‘PSA testing in men without symptoms’

Webb M, et al. BioTechniques 2019:68(2). ePub 29 Nov 2019.