Prostate cancer check-ups aren’t pleasant, but prostate cancer biopsies are downright horrible, and can lead to infection or urinary troubles.
Now, researchers have found a method of detecting prostate cancer that may reduce the number of repeat biopsies performed on men each year. According to a Bloomberg report, a study, published in the Journal of Urology, used biopsies from 498 men who had undergone second biopsies and predicted with 90% accuracy which of those men did not have prostate cancer.
Often, doctors will repeat biopsies to be sure there isn’t cancer that was missed during a previous test. Bloomberg cites a Nomura Code Securities analyst as stating an estimated 1.5 million men get abnormal results from current screening tests.
The method of detection used in the study looks for genes that suppress tumors, and determines whether they are “on” or “off.” Being “off” is an indication of cancer. The test, marketed as ConfirmMDx by MDxHealth SA, could help lower the number of repeat biopsies patients must undergo to make sure nothing has been missed.
Bloomberg also quotes the Nomura Code Securities analyst as stating that ConfirmMDx can help reduce medical costs. A biopsy, according to the analyst, can cost as much as $2,500, while the MDxHealth test costs only $146 per tissue sample. According to Bloomberg, MDxHealth, a Belgian company, is competing to get its test into the hand of urologists ahead of competing tests, while its stock is up 34% this year.