A simple new blood test from a Dublin-based company will check if prostate cancer has spread or not. With the help of a €50 000 Horizon 2020 grant, Atturos, a Dublin UCD Spin Out company, hopes to bring the new diagnostic test to market in early 2017.
Most men with prostate cancer die with the disease rather thanbecause of it – aggressive treatment is not always necessary if the cancer has not spread. However, current tests only show that the cancer is present, and doesn’t tell doctors whether or not it has spread. This makes it hard to decide whether it is worth going through aggressive treatment, or whether to simply monitor the cancer’s progress.
Professor Stephen Pennington of Atturos said: “At the present time far too many men are treated and the side effects of treatment (surgery, radiation and drugs) are very often worse than the disease itself… However, existing diagnostic tests do not really help men and their physicians to make this important decision…This innovative blood test that we have developed – the OCProDx test – will be able to do this and will therefore support the life changing decisions men have to make once diagnosed with prostate cancer.”
To mark Movember 2015, below are the details of a project calledOcProDx by Atturos (a Dublin based UCD Spin out company) which has been awarded €50.000 funding from the SME Instrument of the Horizon 2020 programme to help bring to market an innovative blood test to detect if cancer has spread beyond the prostate.
Professor Stephen Pennington of Atturos explained that prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men in Europe with over 400,000 (US >250,000, world >1M) men diagnosed every year. In Ireland alone, over 3,300 men are diagnosed with the condition every year. Well over half of these newly diagnosed men will have so-called ‘intermediate’ to ‘low’ risk disease.
“Deciding what to do about their diagnosis, says Professor Pennington,is a huge problem for them and their doctors because it is well known that most men who have prostate cancer die WITH the disease rather than BECAUSE OF it and at the present time far too many men are treated and the side effects of treatment (surgery, radiation and drugs) are very often worse than the disease itself. So the vast majority of men diagnosed with ‘intermediate’ to ‘low’ risk disease would benefit from monitoring how the disease progresses (so called Active Surveillance) rather than being treated. However, existing diagnostic tests do not really help them (and their physicians) make this important decision.”
Although the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, which has been available for a number of years, can already detect the presence of prostate cancer, it does not show if the cancer has spread beyond the prostate. Whereas this innovative blood test that we have developed – the OCProDx test – will be able to do this and will therefore support the life changing decisions men have to make once diagnosed with prostate cancer.
“We hope, with this funding, that the test will be close to the market early in 2017. And we are delighted that our project has been selected for this EU funding – it is a very competitive process – and it comes just as we begin Movember 2015!”
Atturos website (www.atturos.com) goes live during ‘Movember’.
‘Movember 2015’ in Ireland https://ie.movember.com/
More EU supported research to Fight Cancer
Cancer is the second most common cause of death in Europe, with about 3.2 million citizens diagnosed each year (source: EC Joint Research Centre). So what is the EU doing to fight it?
Below are examples of some EU-funded research projects taking place in Ireland tackling cancer:
- Identifying a new generation of personalised cancer medicines with the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, OncoMark Limited, University College Dublin, Irish Clinical Oncology Research Group Ltd and Pintail Ltd. ANGIOPREDICT project.
- Targeting the drivers of difficult-to-treat breast cancers with University College Dublin and Dublin based Oncomark Ltd.RATHER project.
- Looking at ways to improve healthcare for young cancer survivors with The Boyne Research Institute Limited. PanCareSurFup
- New stent to help lung cancer victims breathe easier with NUI Galway and Vysera Biomedical Limited. PULMOSTENT project.
- New test for sexually transmitted virus that could reduce cancer risks with Dublin City University. NANO-MUBIOP project.
- Glycomics on the fast track with the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training Ltd in Dublin.HIGHGLYCAN project.
- Laying down markers for future cancer treatments with University College Cork. BioMarkerIGF project.
- European nano-warriors tackle a big killer … cancer with Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Cellix Limited and Radisens Diagnostics Limited. Namdiatream project.