London: Scientists have developed a blood test that reads genetic changes like a barcode – and can identify aggressive prostate cancers by their particular pattern of gene activity.A team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust found reading the pattern of genes switched on and off in blood cells could accurately detect which advanced prostate cancers had the worst survival.And the researchers believe the blood test could eventually be used alongside the existing PSA test at diagnosis to select patients who need immediate treatment.The test is unique because it assesses changes in the pattern of gene activity in blood cells triggered by a tumour elsewhere in the body.“Prostate cancer is a very diverse disease – some people live with it for years without symptoms but for others it can be aggressive and life-threatening – so it’s vital we develop reliable tests to tell the different types apart,” said Professor Johann de Bono, leader of the prostate cancer targeted therapy team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and honorary consultant at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, senior author of the study.
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