Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in males worldwide but is often treatable if detected early.
Professor Mark Birch-Machin, working with scientists from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Canada, has developed a novel test to improve the efficiency and reliability of this crucial diagnosis.
First test of its kind helps save lives
The Prostate Core Mitomic Test™ (PCMT™) is the first of its kind in the world and has been helping to save lives since its commercial launch in North American in 2011.
The highly sensitive test uses the science of mitochondrial DNA to accurately determine the absence or presence of cancerous cells in prostate tissue.
Detects cancer often missed
Even if a biopsy needle misses a tumour and the tissue appears normal, PCMT™ can still identify the presence of cancer because it works by detecting deletions of mitochondrial DNA that would occur if a tumour is nearby.
Professor Birch-Machin said, "It is rewarding to know that our science is benefitting people."
It is particularly useful for patients whose symptoms lead medics to suspect they are suffering from prostate cancer but who record a negative biopsy result using traditional test methods.
The test uses existing biopsy tissue, meaning there is no need for patients to undergo further
- possible infections
- complications associated with additional tissue sampling
Opportunities now exist to use this work as a platform to conduct further studies into other tumours and even use the findings to develop an early warning system of cancer.
- Read Professor Mark Birch-Machin’s full list of publications and research interests
- His research focuses on the context of skin ageing and cancer, particularly involving the role of mitochondria. Multi-million funding sources include Cancer Research UK, the British Skin Foundation and global commercial companies