Recently, in the medical field, scientists have come up with a blood test that could single out which men with advanced Prostate Cancer would benefit from a new drug treatment. In its working, the test is capable of detecting cancer DNA in the blood thereby helping doctors to establish whether precision drugs are working.

Understanding Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer in men. Cancer begins to grow in the prostate which is a gland in the male reproductive system. The prostate is referred to as such because of its position at the base of the bladder.

Prostate Cancer Infographic

Prostate Cancer is one of the most common cancers among males

Cancer Research UK suggested that the test could greatly improve survival and the overall quality of life. On a different note, other larger studies incorporating more men were required to be conducted to confirm if health care providers could rely on the test.

When conducting the study, blood samples from 49 men with advanced Prostate Cancer were collected by researchers which was considered part of the phase II clinical trial of a drug called Olaparib. This form of precision drug is viewed as the future of cancer medicine. However, since it is a targeted treatment the drug is not effective for all.

Scientists from The Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust mentioned that the test could facilitate target treatment better and also reduce its adverse effects that are highly undesirable.

The team used it to pick out men who were not responding to the treatment in one to two months and also to register signs that the Prostate Cancer was evolving and becoming resistant to the drugs in the course of treatment.

On the establishment of its impact, Johann de Bono, consultant medical oncologist, mentioned that from the findings, the researchers were placed in a position to develop a strong three-in-one test. This was anticipated that in time to come it could be used to help doctors in choosing treatment, checking whether it is effective and monitoring the cancer in the long run.

Positive Implications from the Research

It was discovered that, not only could the test have a major impact on treatment of Prostate Cancer, but it could also be adapted to create the probability of precision medicine to patients with other forms of cancer.

Many researchers have openly agreed that the blood test was an exciting development in progressing the research for cancer. Additionally, the test has the potential to significantly enhance survival for the condition by ascertaining patients get the correct treatment for them. This will be administered at the right time and make sure that the cancer patients are not receiving a treatment that is no longer effective in treating the disease.

In future, it is considered ideal that further studies comprising of a larger group of men will confirm if doctors should make use of this test when treating patients with advanced Prostate Cancer. Researchers concluded that the outcomes from this study and others similar to it are vital as they give a significant understanding of the factors that trigger specific Prostate Cancers or make them vulnerable to certain treatments.

Source: BBC