A breakthrough urine biomarker for prostate cancer will soon be available which will signal a significant step forward in the battle against prostate cancer.
A protein called Engrailed-2 (EN2) is made by prostate cancers and secreted into urine where it can easily be detected in a small urine sample from men, allowing faster testing that could save lives and offer the potential for huge cost savings.
The University of Surrey (Guildford, UK) where the test was originally developed has signed a worldwide nonexclusive agreement with international diagnostic specialist Zeus Scientific (Raritan, NJ, USA) to develop and market its breakthrough urine biomarker, EN2. Urinary EN2 levels can be measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and higher EN2 levels correlated with the stage of the tumor.
In a joint statement, the University and the Prostate Project Charity (Godalming, UK), who jointly funded the research, said: "This is the news we have all been waiting for. In two years of extensive trials in the USA and Europe, EN2 has consistently outperformed the 30-year-old prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test proving itself to be twice as effective at finding prostate cancer. Its accuracy has never been in doubt, but it has proved difficult to bulk test urine samples using conventional assay technology. Now, Zeus Scientific, one of the leaders in this field is confident it can overcome the problems and bring EN2 to market."
Hardev Pandha MD, PhD, Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Surrey, said, "The University of Surrey is looking forward very much to working with Zeus to introduce EN2 as a novel diagnostic test for prostate and bladder cancers. Our tests have shown that levels of EN2 correlate strongly with disease volume. Knowledge of disease volume may help urologists assess whether the patient has a small volume of disease that may be safely and actively monitored or a larger volume that needs to be treated."