Home urine test for prostate cancer monitoring

Home urine tests for prostate cancer could revolutionise the diagnosis and management of the disease according to researchers at the University of East Anglia.

In a small pilot study they showed that prostate cancer biomarkers in urine collected at home were of comparable quality to samples taken following prostate massage. Currently, patient urine samples are collected after a digital rectal examination of the prostate, which are thought necessary to boost the levels of prostatic secretions in the urine.

In the study, 14 men used an at-home urine sampling kit to collect the first urination of the day. They also provided a sample one hour after their first urination and another after a digital rectal examination in the clinic (on a different day). The results were then compared.

RNA yields and quality were comparable to those for post digital rectal examination urine, and there was improved sensitivity for the detection of key biomarkers.

Lead researcher, Dr Jeremy Clark, says: ‘Because the prostate is constantly secreting, the collection of urine from men’s first urination of the day means that the biomarker levels from the prostate are much higher and more consistent.’

He believes the at-home test could make a significant difference in the diagnosis of prostate cancer and could revolutionise how those on active surveillance are monitored for disease progression.

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