Seventy percent of painful biopsies could be avoided after the development through a simple blood test to detect prostate cancer.

Researchers at Nottingham Trent University  and University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust have established a way to detect cancer by testing a patient’s blood and immune system.

It is estimated, 50,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the UK.

Video: Professor Graham Pockley talks about what the study has found.

Men are currently screened for prostate cancer using a blood test which looks for prostate specific antigen (PSA) which goes up when you have the cancer.

Seventy-two men have been trialled for the new test to help doctors decide whether a high PSA reading aids diagnosis.

“A particular challenge to the clinician is diagnosing the presence of prostate cancer”


The positive outcomes of this new screening means, it has the potential to spare men with no cancer, or low-risk cancer, from having to undergo uncomfortable and lengthy medical procedures.

It could be saving NHS time and money too. It’s been estimated it could save seventy percent of operations within the service. Under current government guidelines, men aged between 50 to 69 are usually sent for a biopsy if they have a PSA reading over three.

Blood test

“Although the PSA blood test is commonly used to test for the presence of prostate cancer, it can be relatively non-specific,” said Professor Graham Pockley.

“A particular challenge to the clinician is diagnosing the presence of prostate cancer in individuals who do not have symptoms of the disease, but so have a mildly elevated level of PSA in the blood. The study highlights the value of collaborations such as these.”

The research teams wants more funding to move the project on. Involving more patients and determining whether the testing could work against the aggressive and non-aggressive forms of the cancer.

Prostate Cancer has overtook Breast Cancer mortality rate for this first time according to charity Prostate Cancer UK .

People online have been trying to create Prostate Cancer Awareness, in order for more men to get checked.

Common Prostate Cancer symptoms

Burning or pain during urination
Difficulty urinating, or trouble starting or stopping during urination
More frequent urges to urinate at night
Loss of bladder control
Blood in urine

Source: Cancer Centre