As the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is called into doubt, researchers across the globe have been working diligently to find ways to more accurately detect prostate cancer in its earliest stages. Scientists in Italy may have unlocked a new method that’s cheap and disposable to help locate a key prostate cancer marker. Rather than the blood, the test uses urine to find the amino acid sarcosine that has been associated with prostate cancer metastasis.
Using a new technique, the Italian researchers were able to capture sarcosine from urine samples. The technique calls for the use of magnetic micro beads that are coated in a special receptor. The system calls for the use of a disposal, affordable and portable device that can help screen for prostate cancer quickly. While more study must be done to determine if sarcosine is a viable marker to use in place of those more commonly used today, the research is showing a great deal of promise. Its developers, in fact, believe the test may increase the accuracy of prostate cancer screening down the road. What makes the test’s basic protocol so intriguing is that may also prove very useful for detecting other forms of cancer and even diabetes.
Prostate cancer is one of the leading cancer killers in the United States. An estimated 220,000 American men are diagnosed with the disease each and every year. Some 30,000 men die from prostate cancer annually.
Routine screening and early detection of prostate cancer can lead to lifesaving treatments. Men over the age of 50 are urged to talk to their healthcare providers about screening protocols. Accuracy of the PSA might not be 100 percent, but this current test has served to save money lives over the years. And, one day soon, more accurate tests may become available to help men get an earlier leg up on battling this disease.