Huge breakthroughs may be upon us with respect to various prostate cancer molecular testing that can supplement not only PSA results but also biopsy results to help guide the evaluation of PSA and prostate cancer. The testing is not only genetic but also what is called epigenetic and other measures that would be considered part of the biotechnology field are also becoming available. This is great progress and is very exciting but the news comes with an important caveat.
The testing required before approval for use is different for lab tests than for drugs and the amount of evidence needed for approval that it is a useful test may not be as stringent as for a medication that will actually be ingested or injected into the body. Because of this there is a race to market of tests that can be done for patients with a high PSA to provide additional guidance as to whether or not a biopsy should be done. There are tests for patients who have had a biopsy that did NOT show cancer to help guide if a repeat biopsy should be done if the PSA rises further. There are also new tests that can be done on biopsy tissue that showed cancer to help guide us as to how aggressive the cancer might be. This can help make a decision about how aggressive the treatment should be.
Where can patients have the testing done?
The number of new and competing tests is exploding in this area and at Dr. Newman’s office of Las Vegas Urology we are only offering 3 of these tests right now but also continually evaluating available information to make sure these tests are reliable and helpful and also evaluating new tests as they are offered. We are very excited about these new tests and their ability to help with patient care.