PSA is a protein substance that naturally occurs in the body even in healthy people. A PSA test measures the amount of PSA in the blood. In the case of prostate cancer, the value increases, which may indicate cancer. However, most people who have an elevated PSA level do not have cancer. An elevated value often leads to examinations and sampling which can be painful and psychologically stressful. The test result can also lead to an incorrect cancer diagnosis.
In prostate cancer, small vesicles called prostasomes, leak into the blood. They carry traces of their parent cell in the form of proteins. ProsMedic has developed antibodies that bind to just these. If the answer from the blood test is negative, the patient is healthy. If the answer is positive, it can be established with very high certainty that there is a cancer and how far it has progressed. In this way, the doctors can prescribe the right treatment with a very strong decision-making basis.
ProsMedic’s diagnosis is made with the help of a blood test on a single occasion, which can determine with very high certainty whether there is cancer. Stockholm3 combines protein markers, genetic markers and clinical data with an algorithm to assess prostate cancer risk. Further investigations are required if cancer is indicated. The test result only gives the probability of cancer.
ProsMedic’s test does not give false positive results; either the patient has cancer requiring treatment or not. The Stockholm 3 test can give false positive results where cancer is not present.
With ProsMedics´method, biopsies will no longer be necessary. Stockholm 3 tests reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies by 50 percent.
If the patient is healthy, there are no prostasomes in blood that ProsMedic’s antibodies can bind to. Thus, the test result is negative: there is no cancer. If, on the other hand, the antibodies bind to prostasomes, cancer can be diagnosed with great certainty. A blood sample is all that is needed.
Exosomes are extremely small vesicles that can get out through the membranes that surround the body’s cells. They act as messengers or bottle post between different cells. They were discovered in the 1970s by Gunnar Ronquist, professor emeritus in clinical chemistry at Uppsala University, Sweden. He named them prostasomes because he first found them in the prostate fluid.
Professor Anders Waldenström, ProsMedic’s founder and scientific director, CSO, and his research group at Umeå University, in collaboration with Gunnar Ronquist, subsequently succeeded in showing that heart cells can transmit information to other cells. The exosome protects the signaling substance, the message, to the recipient cell in the form of proteins, DNA and RNA.
The group’s work showed that antibodies can be used to identify proteins from specific cancer cells. The antibodies the researchers developed were destroyed by accident in 2015. Anders Waldenström began, in collaboration with Anders Larsson, to replace the destroyed antibodies and to develop new ones. New technology has made it possible to produce antibodies more easily. Tests have shown that ProsMedic’s new antibodies function just as well on prostate cancer as the old ones.
Prostate biopsy involves taking a tissue sample of a suspected tumor with a needle. Biopsy can be painful but is usually performed without anesthesia. Test answers usually take a couple of weeks. During surgery, larger pieces are taken for more certain diagnosis. The tissue sample is examined under a microscope and analyzed by a pathologist who determines whether the tumor is benign or malignant. With ProsMedic’s diagnostics, biopsies are redundant.
Exosomes are vesicles that can get out through the membranes that surround the body’s cells. They are between 30 and 100 billionths of a millimeters in size. They act as messengers or bottle mail between different cells in the body. A healthy glandular cell is polarized, which means that the signaling substances it must release to send messages to a specific recipient cell only go out in one direction, namely to the gland duct. When a cell develops cancer, polarization ceases, and exosomes leak into the blood. All exosomes, regardless of where in the body they come from, carry traces of their parent cell. If a person has cancer, there are therefore traces of this in the exosomes that the tumor secretes.
Screening means examining a very large number of people to see if they have the beginnings of a disease. In Sweden, all women aged 40-74 are offered a breast examination every two years through mammography to detect cancer.
“The national screening programs for breast cancer and cervical cancer are two examples of efforts for early detection. They are estimated to save several hundred lives every year.”
The Cancer Foundation
Cancer is the most common cause of death among both men and women under the age of 80 in Sweden. Prostate cancer is the cancer that causes the most deaths among men. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women.
With more effective methods for screening and early detection in primary care, more lives can be saved.
“Early detection of cancer significantly increases the chances of successful treatment. The two components of early detection of cancer are early diagnosis and screening.”
WHO – World Health Organisation
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