New test may help guide prostate cancer treatment

February 4, 2011 12:47:40 AM PST
Doctors may someday be able to better identify which prostate cancer patients need aggressive treatment by using an experimental test. It's one of the most vexing problems in cancer therapy. Currently, once prostate cancer is diagnosed, doctors have no reliable way to know which cases are life-threatening. Most are not.

Now scientists have created a test that tracks the activity of four genes within prostate tumors. They say it might help doctors identify dangerous tumors more accurately than is possible now. In a new study, they report boosting accuracy to 91 percent from 84 percent.

The results were published online Wednesday by the journal Nature.

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