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New Blood Test Could Help Guide Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapies

Research presented at the Genitourinary Cancers Symposium suggests that “an experimental blood test designed to analyze circulating tumor cells may be able to predict which patients with prostate cancer could benefit from hormone therapies. In a press release, Sumanta K. Pal, MD, said, “It’s remarkable that a blood test could help us profile cancers in real time, gleaning insights that directly affect patient care decisions.”

The non-invasive liquid biopsy involves taking a blood test and staining it with special dyes to distinguish normal blood cells from tumour cells in the bloodstream which are released from cancers, including any areas of the body where the cancer has metastasised to. The cells are then analysed for genetic abnormalities and researchers noted that specific genomic features responded well to hormone therapies, whereas other features such as higher heterogeneity suggested resistance to androgen receptor therapies. If this test is validated, it may pave the way for personalised selection tool for treatments in prostate cancer and is a much simpler method of sampling tumours through a simple blood test, rather than an invasive biopsy.