Dr. Massimo Perachino
(XXVI Congress of Italian Association of Urology (AURO.it) 16-18 May 2019, Bologna, Italy)
Dr. Perachino is the general secretary of the Italian Association of Urology. At this year’s congress he explained that when a patient has a clinical suspicion of prostate cancer (PCa),a prostate biopsy is currently the only way to diagnose PCa. However, a biopsy can have complications, such as an infection, and not every patient can accept these risks. In addition, a biopsy can be painful even if performed with local anaesthesia and it may generate stress. Therefore some patients would prefer alternative tests.
The liquid biopsy test, also known as the SelectMDx test, is one of the newer diagnostic tests. It is a genetic test performed on a urine sample after a DRE and has a high diagnostic accuracy. There are also other tests based on blood samples. These new diagnostic tests reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies. Moreover, they are cheaper than a prostate biopsy which has technical costs (e.g. hospitalisation) and social costs (e.g. absence from work).
This can be avoided with these new diagnostic tests because then a biopsy only has to be performed in men with a real suspicion of PCa according to the test.