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expert reaction to study about a potential home urine test for prostate cancer

A study, published in BioTechniques, reports on a urine test under development for prostate cancer detection.


Dr Mangesh Thorat, Deputy Director (Clinical) of the Cancer Prevention Trials Unit at King’s College London, and Research Fellow, Centre for Cancer Prevention, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University of London:

“This is a misleading press release and overstates the case.

“This small study evaluated ‘at-home urine sample collection using specific kit’ versus ‘standard urine sample collected in clinic’ in 14 prostate cancer patients for detection of urine-based biomarkers. They found that ‘at-home’ samples are at least as good as samples in the clinic. However, these urine-based biomarkers, although promising and an area of active research, are not yet recommended for prostate cancer screening or during management of prostate cancer by active surveillance. Therefore, these findings do not currently have any clinical or public health implications. Should any of these biomarkers become a standard screening or surveillance tool in future, this new ‘at-home’ method will be useful.”


Prof Justin Stebbing, Professor of Cancer Medicine and Medical Oncology, Imperial College:

 “The use of home tests which empower the consumer or patient are going to be very important in years to come. How we incorporate these into clinical care pathways will require a great deal of work, not least of all establishing how these tests improve outcomes. A test that can replace a hospital or doctor-based examination is important, but this study is too small right now to draw any conclusions but can provide the basis of future clinical testing in a study to evaluate these questions.”


‘Methodology for the At-Home Collection of Urine Samples for Prostate Cancer Detection’ by Webb et al. was published in BioTechniques at 00:00 (midnight) UK time on Friday 29th November. 


Declared interests

Dr Mangesh Thorat: “None.”

None others received.

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