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Urine test IDs high-grade vs. low-grade prostate cancer

Test could significantly reduce unnecessary biopsies

CANCER DIGEST – April 20, 2024 – University of Michigan researchers have developed a urine test that can differentiate slow-growing prostate cancer from aggressive disease that needs more immediate treatment.

The test called, MyProstateScore2.0 or MPS2 analyzes urine and tissue samples for presence of 18 different genes linked to high-grade prostate cancer. In testing samples from nearly 800 men, the test was shown to be better at identifying high-grade cancers compared to current biomarker tests, and more importantly better at ruling out low-grade, slow growing cancer based on the patients’ records.

"If you’re negative on this test, it is almost certain that you don’t have aggressive prostate cancer," Arul M. Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D.,  co-senior author of the study said in a press release. He is also director of the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology. 

That level of certainty with regard to low-grade prostate cancer could help up to 40 percent of men avoid biopsies based on PSA testing alone. 

“Four of 10 men who would have a negative biopsy will have a low risk MPS2 result and can confidently skip a biopsy,” co-senior author John Wei, MD, explained in a press release. "If a man has had a biopsy before, the test works even better. In those men who have had a biopsy before and are being considered for another biopsy, MPS2 will identify half of those whose repeat biopsy would be negative. Those are practical applications for patients out there. Nobody wants to say sign me up for another biopsy. We are always looking for alternatives and this is it."

The study was conducted on blood and urine samples collected over a period of 12 years by a consortium of 30 research institutions all over the country called the NCI-EDRN or Early Detection Research Network. The analyses of 761 samples of men with elevated PSA using MPS2 took place from November 2022 to November 2023. In addition samples from another 743 men without cancer were analyzed for validation purposes. The study appears in the April 18, 2024 JAMA Oncology.

The results showed that at 95 percent sensitivity, the MSP2 test would have reduced unnecessary initial biopsies in the sample population by 35 percent to 42 percent and reduced repeat biopsies by 46 percent to 51 percent.

The researchers concluded that the new 18-gene prostate cancer test had higher diagnostic accuracy for high-grade cancer relative to current biomarker tests, and use of this MSP2 test could result in a meaningful reduction in biopsies performed while maintaining highly sensitive detection of high-grade cancers.

MPS2 is currently available through LynxDX, a University of Michigan spin-off company that has exclusive rights to the test. Patients interested in learning more can call the Michigan Medicine Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125.

Sources: University of Michigan press release and JAMA Oncology


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