Detection of Prostrate Cancer -Saliva test Trials Begin in the UK

Saliva swab for genetic test trials

Trials are ongoing for a saliva test to determine a the risk of  prostate cancer in men.

Prostrate cancer a major cause of death due to cancer in men.

Presently has no reliable test for the detection,the common methods used include

  • psa blood test
  • biopsies
  • physical examinations

all of the above mentioned cases do not always work out as intended (false results) and may not detect the cancer at an early stage thus decreasing survival rates.


The new saliva test though currently in early trial stage will greatly increase chances of detecting prostate cancer early

and thus take the required treatment which would improve survival chances unlike the normal biopsies and psa tests which may come out inconclusive.

A team of scientists  with the Institute of cancer research in London came up with the spit test from their study and research.

The scientist studying more than 100,000 men using a new DNA analysis technique found 63 new high risk gene variant that were not previously associated with prostate cancer .

The DNA test combines these new variants with more than 100 other previously known variants that can increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Ros Eeles, professor of oncogenetics at the ICR, explains,”By studying DNA codes of more than 100,000 men very closely,

we have uncovered vital new information about the genetic factors that can increase your chance of being affected by prostate cancer,”

and more importantly these information from more than 150 genetic variants can now combined to conclusively find out if you at a higher risk of being affected by prostate cancer or not.

after which those men found to be at higher risk of prostate cancer would then go for scans and have a prostate biopsy.

The professor further said in a statement.

“We now hope to begin a small study to determine if genetic testing using a simple spit test could pin-point high-risk men who might benefit early detection of the disease”.

Currently three hundred men are taking part in the trials, from three London GP surgeries,and may expand to reach about five thousand men in 2019

The study was published in the journal Nature Genetics and was funded by the National Cancer Institute in the US, with support from the European Research Council, Cancer Research UK and Prostate Cancer UK.

This research is aims to provide more efficient means of early detection of prostate cancer in men.


What to know about prostate cancer?


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