Oncologica, a leading genetic cancer and viral testing laboratory based in Cambridge UK, has launched its new Prostatefocus cancer genetic screening test that identifies men at increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men with 50,000 people in the UK diagnosed with the disease each year. 1 in 8 men in the UK will develop prostate cancer during their lifetime resulting in around 12,000 prostate cancer related deaths annually, that's 32 every day. Increased risk factors for prostate cancer include age (>40), whether your father or brother has had prostate cancer, whether there is a family history of cancer in the family or if you are of African-Caribbean descent.
Prostate cancer is more treatable when caught early so screening tests can help identify an individual at high risk of developing the disease. Proactive preventative measures can then be taken such as lifestyle changes, regular checkups, and blood tests to reduce a person's chances of developing advanced life-threatening prostate cancer in the future. The NHS Breast Screening Programme, which undertakes more than 2 million tests every year and reduces deaths from breast cancer by around 1,300 a year, has been a great success. However there has been no equivalent screening programme for men in relation to prostate cancer.
The absence of a UK prostate cancer screening programme to date reflects the lack of adequate technologies that can be employed to undertake such screening. The prostate specific antigen (PSA) test which detects a protein released into the blood from prostate cells, which is very useful to aid diagnosis, has unfortunately been found to be inadequate as a screening tool. This is because around three quarters of men with a raised PSA level don't have prostate cancer whereas some men with a normal PSA level do have prostate cancer.
However, the landscape for prostate cancer screening has now dramatically changed with the recent advances in cancer genetics and recognition that a significant proportion of men, particularly those people who develop aggressive life threatening prostate cancer at a relatively early age, can now be identified as a consequence that they carry inherited abnormal disease causing genes. Interestingly this family of inherited prostate causing genes are all involved in a process called DNA damage repair (DDR) which play a critical role in ensuring that the DNA in your cells is maintained in a healthy state. An inherited abnormality in any of these DDR genes predisposes men to the development of early aggressive prostate cancer. Notably survival among men with faulty DNA repair genes is half that of men with normal DDR genes. The new Prostatefocus genetic screening test analyses these DDR genes from a simple saliva sample. Men who test positive can then benefit from regular checks, blood tests and life style preventative measures.
Dr Marco Loddo Co-owner and Scientific Director at Oncologica says" Better treatments have improved survival from the disease, but accurate screening for prostate cancer has proven difficult. Prostate cancer tends to grow slowly without symptoms, so men often present late with advanced incurable disease. Identifying men at high risk of developing prostate cancer means regular checks can take place so that if the disease develops at some stage during their lifetime it is picked up early. "
The new genetic Prostatefocus genetic screening test uses a simple saliva self-sample collection kit. The Prostatefocus test is available via Oncologica's nationwide specialist medical Healthcare Provider's who undertake a pre-test consultation to explain how the test works and the implications of any results with you.
Oncologica's Healthcare Partners issue the self- sample kit or arrange in clinic sample collection. The Prostatefocus sample Is returned to Oncologica's UKAS accredited laboratory for genomic analysis, and the results are available within 7 days from laboratory receipt. The Healthcare Partner will arrange a post-test follow up to discuss the results with you and if abnormalities are detected the impact in relation to the risk of developing prostate cancer and what next steps can be taken.
The new Prostatefocus Genetic Cancer Screening test can be ordered via Oncologica's Healthcare Providers on www.oncologica.com/Prostatefocus
So why not avoid lengthy NHS waiting lists for screening checks and get your insights into what your genes can tell you about your long-term health.
Oncologica is a world leading precision cancer medicine, infectious diseases, and genomic contract research laboratory. Our personalised DNA profiling is used to aid identification of the most appropriate targeted therapies for patients with cancer as an alternative to chemotherapy. Our molecular testing capabilities cover cancer screening, tumour DNA sequencing, Covid -19 mutation profiling and allergen testing, with over 5 million genetic health tests performed during the last two years.
Oncologica's comprehensive NGS DNA profiling with linkage to targeted therapies provides detailed genomic blueprints that optimize therapy choices, improve health outcomes, and help people avoid treatment unlikely to be of benefit. Oncologica's contract research programmes, clinical trials, and diagnostic test validation platforms focus on novel genomic therapeutic solutions. The personalised genomic data is helping to empower patients and clinicians to improve treatment outcomes and human health.
Oncologica UK Ltd, Suite 2, The Newnham Building, Chesterford Research Park, Cambridge UK CB10 1XL. www.oncologica.com
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