Autoantibodies typically appear as a result of autoimmune diseases, but researchers at Oxford Gene Technology say that by linking them to antigens they can help clinicians distinguish between prostate cancer and benign prostate disease and healthy tissue with 90 percent certainty. The advance, reported at the Fourth AACR International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development, should help pave the way to a new diagnostic test that could be far more accurate test to identify patients and tackle the disease before symptoms appear.
"The measure of clinical specificity--the measure of false positives--is much improved in this study compared to that seen with the current prostate specific antigen and digital rectal examination test procedures used in diagnosis of prostate cancer," said John Anson, vice president of biomarker discovery at OGT.
The researchers developed a "functional protein" microarray to detect autoantibodies in prostate cancer serum samples. "The appearance of autoantibodies may precede disease symptoms by many years," Anson said. "This means that autoantibody-based diagnostic tests can enable presymptomatic and early diagnosis of disease. Early diagnosis of cancer, especially aggressive forms, could significantly increase cure rates."
- here's the OGT release