Non-invasive screening tests for preventive healthcare

Detection of Lethal Prostate Cancer from Urine

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Aqsens Health Oy and the Department of Urology at Helsinki University Hospital have started a research project for testing a new method for the detection of prostate cancer from urine. During the project the parties will investigate the capabilities of Aqsens Health’s E-TRF method and Machine Learning for the classification of tumors and cancers. The results are compared to the full clinical analysis, and the parties expect to publish results in early 2020. 

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men in the western world with over 1.3 million new diagnoses annually and deaths representing 6.6% of total male cancer mortality in 2015. Prostate cancer typically grows slowly and often causes no harm for the patient. However, even if some 50% of prostate cancers detected in the PSA era are ones unlikely to cause harm even if left untreated, some are aggressive and may metastasize, leading to a greater mortality rate. Age is the best known risk factor for prostate cancer and due to the growing aging population prostate cancer incidence and prevalence will grow even further and become an even bigger burden for healthcare systems. 

Aqsens Health has worked intensively with urine samples and performed several non-clinical tests related to the human metabolism. “We understand how and why our E-TRF method can detect things that other methods cannot, and based on the work done we believe we can better classify prostate tumors to clinically insignificant and aggressive clinically significant cancers”, says Timo Teimonen the CEO of Aqsens Health Oy. 

Prostate cancer, if detected early and still confined to the prostate gland, is more likely to be successfully treated and PSA-based prostate cancer screening has been shown to decrease prostate cancer mortality. However, new cost effective and more accurate methods are needed for the screening, as the current PSA-based screening causes too much harm, i.e. overdiagnosis of clinically insignificant cancers. “Non-invasive and urine based test, if able to better stratify men to high risk prostate cancer group, would significantly impact on the screening processes. I am excited to work with the Aqsens team and to see what our project will deliver, says Antti Rannikko the Professor of Urology at Helsinki University hospital. 

In the project Aqsens Health will run E-TRF tests against clinically diagnosed and classified prostate cancers and compare the results with industry gold standards. The parties will conduct complementary tests using established scientific methods like mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to determine the causality of the findings. The aim of this research study is to find urine based indicators for lethal prostate cancer. 

More information: 

Aqsens Health, Timo Teimonen (+358 40 585 3105) Professor of Urology, Antti Rannikko (+358 40 547 0208) 

About Aqsens Health 

Aqsens Health has developed a non-invasive screening and diagnosis method (E-TRF and Machine Learning) to analyse microbiota, urine and saliva, and very small-scale metabolic changes in biological samples. The company’s focus is on non-invasive screening of health disorders that have a major impact on both individual patients and society.