Researchers create new cancer test
B.C. Cancer Agency researchers are trying to make prostate cancer testing more effective. (FOTOLIA)
Oncologist Dr. Kim Chi and a team at the B.C. Cancer Agency are developing a blood test with the potential to make treatment more effective for patients with prostate cancer.
Profiling prostate cancer in the past, through a biopsy or doing surgery, for example, used to be painful, difficult and complicated for patients. In order to provide earlier and better treatment for patients, Dr. Chi has been working on a new blood test that’s able to detect the prostate cancer DNA in most patients. After the DNA is analyzed, the information on the genetic programming of a person’s prostate cancer enables doctors to guide treatment decisions.
“So the blood tests were able to genetically identify the cancer, and by doing this, we hope we can choose treatment better, select the best treatment, find the new treatment for people with prostate cancer,” Dr. Chi said.
The new blood test is still being researched. Dr. Chi said the next step would be testing it on more people to gauge the benefits.
“If everything goes well, hopefully in a few years, we would see this being wildly used.”
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer that Canadian men have. Patients with prostate cancer do not have clear symptoms until it spreads to other places.