Medhealth Review

Genomic Tests Seem to Be Better in Identifying Aggressive Prostrate Cancer

A new study confirms genomic tests are better options for identifying aggressive prostate cancers than their traditional counterparts, the conventional ways of testing. 

The findings from the survey were available in the ‘Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) ON 2nd September.

The genomic test is named Decipher. The test analyses the activity of around 22 genes to accurately predict the risk factor involved for a patient. What is being analyzed is the possibility of cancer spreading to other areas. Genomic tests have been a part of the medical world for several years. 

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The traditional testing method involves clinical markers such as the PSA level or the Gleason Score.

Researchers could conclude that genomic tests are better at identifying high-risk prostate cancers based on the results obtained from a group of men part of the survey. Conventional tests had declared their cancer low-risk, while the genomic test predicted that their cancer was high-risk and vulnerable to spread beyond the prostate gland.

“What this [study] points us to is, beyond just the clinical markers that we’ve been using, we now have to start thinking about genomics too. I would tell patients that if they’re newly diagnosed [with prostate cancer]. They want to have a really in-depth conversation about how to get treated, they should ask their doctor if the Decipher [test] should be at least a part of their evaluation.” explains Fatima Karzai, M.D,  Center for Cancer Research, NCI.

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The ability to derive valuable and trustworthy information on how aggressive the cancer is is essential to finalize the further course of action. Precise information on nature would help implement changes in the treatment plan for an individual. 

All 226 participants of the survey were suffering from prostrate cancer that hadn’t spread beyond the prostate gland. Both types of tests (conventional and Decipher) were conducted on the patients. Some discrepancies were identified when the data obtained from these methods were analyzed. For example, some men had high-risk cancer, which was identified as low-risk during the conventional tests. 

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