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Pinpointing prostate cancer: a paradigm shift in diagnosis

30 months
Approved budget:
Associate Professor Paul Harris
Health issue:
Cancer (oncology)
Proposal type:
Explorer Grant
Lay summary
Prostate cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in men, after lung cancer and New Zealand has a high incidence of both occurrence and mortality. However, 70% of men diagnosed by the PSA test have a non-threatening form of prostate cancer, which needs no treatment, and only 30% have life-threatening illnesses which require treatment. Because current tests do not distinguish between these, over / under diagnosis is a real and ongoing problem and disrupts the lives of many men. We will address these issues by developing firstly new molecules and secondly a new non-invasive 'liquid biopsy' prostate cancer test that allows diagnosis from urine. This will distinguish between the various stages of prostate cancer, thereby enabling a high proportion of disease sufferers to be identified early. This will enable delivery of appropriate cost-effective care before metastasis of the initial cancer takes place