A new blood test for prostate cancer could spare 50,000 British men a year from invasive biopsy

Early trials show it is up to 47 per cent more accurate at identifying the disease than current NHS checks.

Medics from the US say the new test is better at spotting high-risk patients, and is 47 per cent more accurate than the one currently used

US medics say the new blood test is also better at spotting high-risk patients. It detects small changes in a protein — PSA — which increases when a tumour is present.

The current test simply measures PSA levels in the blood.

Patients who have a high score from the basic check are referred for biopsies. But they can cause pain, bleeding, lead to infections, and cost the NHS £370 each.

Around 100,000 take place in the UK a year but lead researcher Dr Eric Klein, of Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, said the new test could halve the figure.

The findings were presented to a meeting of the American Urological Association in San Francisco. Prostate cancer hits 47,000 men a year in the UK — and kills 11,000.

Dr Iain Frame, of Prostate Cancer UK, said: “These results are a promising step forward. But we’d need to see the test used on many more men before conclusions can be made.”

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