Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate glands in males that produces seminal fluid. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide, after lung cancer. It develops in men over the age of 50 and kills 254,000 men per year, globally.
What is the most popular method to detect prostrate cancer?
To diagnose prostate cancer doctor recommends a blood test called the prostate-specific antigen, or PSA test. PSA test takes two weeks of time to produce results and has concern about its accuracy and usefulness in screening.
What is this 3 minute test and what does it measure?
Lately a small study has offered hope by developing a 3 minute, convenient and quick method for detection of prostate cancer by measuring biomarkers such as citrate and lactate. Citrate and lactate are “anions” that are formed during cell metabolism and whose levels change when cancers grow. As an example citrate level falls remarkably in the patients suffering with prostate cancer thereby providing a reliable method for screening and detecting prostate cancer.
How do you determine the amount of detected anion?
The citrate or lactate anion can bind (attach) with substances called “europium complexes”. New compound formed as a result of binding “glows” (like a small light bulb). Intensity of glow depends upon the quantity of anion present in the body. Scientists have generated charts (calibration curves) which relate intensity of glow to amount of anion.
lead researchers and are there further developments?
This research is being led by Professor David Parker at Durham University, UK, their team members in collaboration with scientists of University of Maryland, US. Researchers said this test is an invasive procedure that requires a needle to be inserted into the prostate under local anesthetic. They also said that they will refine this test by using semen instead of prostate fluid in coming time to make test more user-friendly, and potentially much more useful.
Is there any limitation of the technique?
John Neate, chief executing of Prostrate Cancer Charity, UK stated that this test gives only preliminary diagnosis. This test must be confirmed by another invasive procedure, like biopsy, to assess aggressiveness of the cancer.
This technique is still pre-mature as it has to prove itself by testing on large number of samples. Yet, the technique shows promise and significant progress in providing faster method to detect prostate cancer than PSA.
The research was recently published in the journal Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry titled
“A europium luminescence assay of lactate and citrate in biological fluids.” You can read this published article by clicking http://www.rsc.org/Publishing/Journals