A new test called Prostac is able to accurately tell the difference between benign and aggressive prostate cancer, which has the potential to significantly improve men’s healthcare, according to developer NucleoBio.
“Prostac is a non-invasive, urine-based test that will resolve numerous flaws in existing prostate cancer screening methods,” Charles Oyesile, MD, PhD, NucleoBio’s CEO and co-founder, said in a press release.
The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test is now the most common method for men with prostate cancer symptoms, and for those already diagnosed with the disease to monitor its progression. However, an elevation in blood PSA level may also occur in benign conditions, including harmless forms of prostate cancer.
“Up to 75 percent of prostate-specific antigen tests given today return a false positive; the tests suggest there is prostate cancer when it’s actually not. As a result, patients are being misdiagnosed, overtreated and overcharged,” Oyesile said, adding that false positives cause heightened anxiety and undue stress.
“Prostac is going to drastically improve health care for men and dramatically disrupt the health care industry,” he said.
According to NucleoBio, Prostac may eliminate the need for stress-inducing PSA screening, magnetic resonance imaging, digital rectal exams, and biopsies. The test, which may also be performed with blood samples, has a lower cost, which is particularly encouraging for men undergoing annual exams, the company says.
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men after skin cancer. Approximately 164,690 new cases are estimated in 2018. NucleoBio’s development of prostate cancer diagnostics and therapeutics has the support of the Research Foundation of the City University of New York (CUNY).
NucleoBio has already been granted one of three patent applications by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. “We have a strong IP [intellectual property] protection of the background technology and optioned the portfolio exclusively to NucleoBio,” said Neeti Mitra, senior manager-industrial liaison and licensing for CUNY’s Technology Commercialization Office (TCO).
“We are confident that partnering with NucleoBio will help us commercialize this portfolio, which is our main goal at CUNY TCO,” Mitra said.
Olorunseun Ogunwobi, MD, PhD, also a NucleoBio co-founder and a scientist at CUNY, highlighted the test’s ability to reveal new genetic information from patients’ samples. “Consequently, this product will be highly sought by hospitals and laboratories interested in non-invasive biomarker assays for the diagnosis of aggressive prostate cancer,” he said.
The scientists are currently developing the complete test kit, which will be available to physicians and healthcare professionals at medical facilities that offer prostate cancer screenings and men’s healthcare services. NucleoBio expects to market the test kit globally.