WASHINGTON, April 26 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say an experimental blood test for prostate cancer may detect more tumors and reduce unnecessary biopsies.
In a study published in the April issue of the journal Urology, Johns Hopkins Hospital researchers said EPCA-2 testing is more accurate than the current PSA test in identifying cancer in the prostate.
The PSA test measures a protein normally produced by the prostate, while EPCA-2 detects a chemical primarily made in cancerous tissue, The Washington Post reported.
Robert H. Getzenberg -- professor of urology and director of research at the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine -- said PSA testing often erroneously highlights non-cancerous conditions and can miss some cases of cancer.
Getzenberg, lead author of the study, said approximately 1.6 million men undergo prostatic biopsies in the United States annually, and roughly 80 percent of them have negative results.
Johns Hopkins Hospital is working with Onconome Inc., a biomedical company based in Seattle, to bring the test to market within the next 18 months.