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ARM Innovation Hub
9 December, 2021 - 21:03 By Tony Quested

Cambridge leads fresh fight against prostate cancer

Cambridge Clinical Laboratories (CCL) this week launches a new suite of tests to support the UK prostate cancer pathway and ease pressure on the NHS.

The breakthrough diagnostics technology was being unveiled today and tomorrow (December 9 and 10) at The British Association of Urological Surgeons Section of Oncology’s annual meeting at Duxford Imperial War Museum.

CCL CEO Dr Anthony Cooke says: “2020 threw a huge curveball for the world in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic and, as a result, cancer healthcare has been hugely impacted.

“The new tests we are launching will help to ease the pressure on the NHS and improve the experiences of those in the prostate cancer pathway. CCL wants to help; we know our tests will improve the lives of many.”

According to Prostate Cancer UK, prostate cancer urgent GP referrals fell by 52,000 in 2020. The impact of Covid-19 isn’t isolated to just those getting the virus. 

The UK has some of the worst prostate cancer survival statistics of any European country. This has been even more heavily impacted by Covid. In the UK these tests will only be available via CCL and will help the NHS and private healthcare to improve screening, speed up prostate cancer diagnosis, ensure the most effective treatments and look for genetic predisposition. 

The CCL tests encompass the following:-

Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) – initial screening
A protein produced by ‘normal’, as well as malignant, cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in a man’s blood. Elevated PSA levels may be indicative of a prostate issue requiring further investigation.
Select MDX
SelectMDx helps physicians determine if a patient is at high or low risk for prostate cancer and which men can safely avoid biopsy. A non-invasive urine test, SelectMDx measures the expression of two mRNA cancer-related biomarkers (HOXC6 and DLX1). 
A simple protein-based blood test that can be done with the same sample as the PSA test. No additional intervention is required with results becoming quickly available. Patients with a PSA level between 2 and 10 ng/ml are in a diagnostic grey zone. Proclarix helps doctors and patients with PSA levels in the grey zone. Its Proclarix Risk Score delivers clear and immediate diagnostic support for further treatment decisions. 
Prostatype – after diagnosis
Prostatype®’s unique system identifies the genetic fingerprint of cancer by measuring information from cancer stem cell genes. The gene expressions together with other clinical parameters such as PSA, Gleason and Tumour stage are entered into the Classification of Prostatic Malignancy Algorithm (CPMA) software that is linked to a unique patient data base. The software calculates the so-called P-score that provides a measure of how aggressive the cancer is, which facilitates the choice of optimal treatment for the patient.
HRR panel – coming soon
Used to determine genetic predisposition or as a companion diagnostic tool down the line.

• PHOTOGRAPH: CCL CEO Dr Anthony Cooke. Photographs courtesy of Cambridge Clinical Laboratories.

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