Men’s health months – lets talk about prostate cancer…
This month we have asked some guest bloggers to talk about their experiences working in the area of men’s health. Professor Paul Townsend talks to us about some of his research which aims to improve diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.
Towards a better understanding of prostate health and diagnosis of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is the 2nd most common male cancer, with >1.1M cases globally resulting in 307k deaths. These are huge numbers and methods of diagnosis, detection and to determine incidence vary greatly, and currently provide limited information on clinical prognosis, so there is a clear need for new tests to define this disease. Commonly patients are diagnosed by routine biopsy and testing for prostate-specific-antigen (PSA) in the blood. However although necessary biopsies are very invasive procedures, with an increased risk of complications, and PSA accuracy is based on the concentration in the blood and so limits the detection of early disease.
Our plan in Manchester is to use bioinformatics to identify a blood based diagnostic biomarker or a panel of biomarkers of Prostate cancer for diagnosis with greater certainty, accuracy and earlier in disease. We have a collection of blood samples from a cohort of prostate cancer patients at various stages of disease which we are analysing by cutting edge mass spectrometry available through a collaboration with the Stoller Biomarker discovery centre here at the University of Manchester. Combining the results of this proteomic blood analysis with the clinical information using bioinformatics will allow us to group or stratify patients, based on clinical descriptors, and use those to design a biomarker signature that will help distinguish aggressive from indolent prostate cancer faster, cheaper and more accurately. Furthermore, as we have a number of treatment groups, we anticipate the analysis may also help group the patients in to target-treatments demographics and together, that we hope will improve the journey for understanding prostate health and the men afflicted.
Prostate Cancer UK Drop in event – November 27th
Room G.60, UMSA Wellbeing Lounge, Ground Floor, Simon Building
Prostate cancer carries a very good prognosis following appropriate early treatment, so as always please look after your health and don’t wait to see a doctor if you have any concerns. Prostate cancer UK will be running a drop in event on November 27th. A representative from Prostate Cancer UK will be on site to answer any queries you may have. Drop in 12pm – 2pm. You can watch a talk that Prostate Cancer UK gave to staff earlier this year on understanding the prostate and spotting the symptom or watch this latest video:
Stephen fry, Jim Broadbent, Nile Rogers and others say: Men, we are with you
For more information on taking care of your health and the activities taking place this month visit the Men’s health pages:
By Paul Townsend