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Blood test could improve prostate cancer treatment

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Blood test for prostate cancer treatment

A blood test has been developed for prostate cancer treatment that is based on changes in DNA. Researchers say they have found DNA alterations can predict alterations in genes for men with metastatic forms of the disease.


Results of a study scheduled for presentation at the Genitourinary Cancers Symposium shows prostate cancer treatment can be quickly adjusted for better outcomes by just monitoring a few drops of blood.

What that means better and personalized prostate cancer treatment options that are targteted based on how cancer cells are behaving.

Blood test could someday replace prostate biopsy

Guru Sonpavde, MD, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Alabama in Birmingham said in a press release: "Eventually, it may also serve as a noninvasive alternative to the traditional tumor biopsy in cases where tissue biopsy is not safe or feasible."

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A blood test for prostate cancer treatment can also be a research tool for understanding more about the disease by looking at circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA).

In studies 94 percent of men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) were found to have circulating ctDNA that is also found in tumors.

"As we work to tailor treatment to the molecular changes driving the growth of cancer in each patient, these blood tests appear very promising, especially for patients who are unable to undergo a tumor biopsy," Sonpavade added.


Genitourinary Cancers Symposium (GUCS) 2017. Abstract 149. To be presented February 16, 2017.