New Prostate Cancer Test Makes Diagnosis from Urine in 20 Minutes With Near 100% Accuracy, Researchers Say

Korean medical scientists have employed AI-learning to create a new prostate cancer screening with almost 100% accuracy.

The breakthrough, which is a simple urine strip, is likely to revolutionize testing, as existing methods are not only inaccurate but can result in over-diagnosis and necessitate invasive biopsies.

The current method is a PSA test, which stands for “prostate-specific antigen,” and that tests the levels of this particular protein in the blood. This test can have a misdiagnosis rate as high as 80%.

This is because PSA is produced from both cancerous and non-cancerous prostate cells, and even if the test detects cancerous PSA, there is a risk that it’s diagnosing tumors that would never produce symptoms during a lifetime, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Furthermore, other conditions such as inflammation of the prostate, an infection, or an enlarged prostate, can also fool a standard PSA test, leading to the a prescription for an invasive biopsy which can cause bleeding and pain.

Designed at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, the breakthrough, led by chief scientist Dr. Kwan Hyi Lee, created a urine test strip containing an electrical-signal-based ultrasensitive biosensor, and introduced AI analysis to quantify the values of four separate prostate cancer factors.

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The AI then uses an algorithm to determine whether or not they add up to cancer. This process led to a greater than 99% accuracy rate across 76 different tests.

“For patients who need surgery and/or treatments, cancer will be diagnosed with high accuracy by using urine to minimize unnecessary biopsy and treatments, which can dramatically reduce medical costs and medical staff’s fatigue,” said Professor Gab Jeong, who aided Dr. Lee in the project, in a statement according to Phys. 

Prostate cancer is the most common variety in males, and millions of people every year around the world lose their lives to it. Like other medical procedures, sometimes a patient can feel embarrassed by a particular method of diagnosis and may choose not to get one as a result—which could certainly be the case with invasive biopsies.

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The invention of a simple urine strip has the added benefit of being able to be done in private, and combined with the super accurate results, the test seems like a field-changer.

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