Can Prostate Cancer Soon be Detected Using a Home Urine Test?

A simple urine test under development for prostate cancer detection can now use urine samples collected at home, according to the findings of a new study published in BioTechniques.

The research team provided 14 participants with an At Home Collection Kit, and instructions. They then compared the results of their home urine samples, taken first thing in the morning, with samples collected after a digital rectal examination.

“We found that the urine samples taken at home showed the biomarkers for prostate cancer much more clearly than after a rectal examination. And feedback from the participants showed that the at home test was preferable,” said lead researcher Dr Jeremy Clark, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said in a press release.

“Using our At Home test could in future revolutionize how those on ‘active surveillance’ are monitored for disease progression, with men only having to visit the clinic for a positive urine result. This is in contrast to the current situation where men are recalled to the clinic every six to 12 months for painful and expensive biopsies.

The research team feels their findings may facilitate the development of home-collection tests for bladder or kidney cancer.

“This is a very exciting development as this test gives us the possibility of differentiating those who do from those who do not have prostate cancer so avoiding putting a lot of men through unnecessary investigations,” said Robert Mills, Consultant Surgeon in Urology at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

“When we do diagnose prostate cancer, the urine test has the potential to differentiate those who need to have treatment from those who do not need treatment, which would be invaluable. These patients go on to an active surveillance program following the diagnosis which may involve repeat biopsies and MRI scans which is quite intrusive. This urine test has the potential to tell us whether we needed to intervene with these patients.”