Scientists may have found a way to create the first effective urine test for prostate cancer.
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A protein called MSMB found in urine is present at a lower level in men who have the disease. Its level also seems to be influenced by how aggressive the cancer is.
The disease’s risk and progress is typically measured by blood tests for prostate specific antigen.
Genetic changes caused by the cancer influence how much of the MSMB protein is present in patients.
Hayley Whitaker, from Cancer Research UK charity’s Cambridge Research Institute, where the study was carried out, said: “We looked in tissue and urine from over 350 men with and without prostate cancer to find out how much MSMB they had. We then looked to see who had the genetic change. It was really exciting to find out that the genetic change and the amount of protein were linked.
“The protein is easy to detect because it is found in urine and would potentially be a very simple test to carry out on men to identify those most at risk of developing the disease.”