Possible “pee on a stick” test for prostate cancer?

According to a story from Southern California Public Radio, a team of researchers at the University of California Irvine are hoping to develop a “pee on a stick” test for prostate cancer (like the tests women can use to tell if they are pregnant) based on the ability to detect prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA).

If the research team is able to pull this technology off — with, it must be emphasized, a sufficient degree of accuracy — then clearly such a test would be a lot more convenient (not to mention a lot cheaper) than having to get blood tests done for PSA levels. However, it has to be said that there is a long way to go from the current research to actual, practical, clinical application of the technology.

The report is based on an article by Mohan et al. published online earlier this month in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The authors seem to be of the opinion that their test can potentially be used to differentiate between clinically significant and clinically insignificant forms of prostate cancer … but we’ll need to see some data before that can be confirmed!

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