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Oxford Biodynamics launches prostate screening test

EpiSwitch is designed for men with prostate cancer risk in the UK and is 94% accurate.

Oxford BioDynamics – a company developing precision medicine tests – has announced that its EpiSwitch Prostate Screening (PSE) blood test will be available to UK patients.

The existing PSA test is 55% accurate and is considered an unreliable test by many doctors, including those in the NHS.

The new PSE test has been designed to run alongside the standard PSA test and combines the PSA score with five proprietary epigenetic biomarkers to predict – with 94% accuracy – the presence (or absence) of prostate cancer.

The PSE test has emerged after nearly a decade-long collaboration between OBD, Imperial College London, University of East Anglia, Imperial College NHS Trust and leading prostate cancer experts across the UK. The development was also part of the wider PROSTAGRAM screening pilot.

Mathias Winkler, Consultant Urologist and Surgeon at Charing Cross Hospital and Imperial College London was optimistic about the launch. “PSE is a diagnostic prostate cancer test with unprecedented accuracy. Nine of 10 cancers are found compared to three of ten with PSA alone. Likewise, false-positive results are reduced avoiding unnecessary anxiety and expense.”

He added: “This is clearly highly desirable for men who are health-conscious or at risk of prostate cancer. We are delighted to be part of the team evaluating and refining the test for use in particular risk groups and prospectively validating in a larger patient cohort compared to the current standard of care.”

Across the UK, around 120,000 patients undergo a prostate biopsy every year, while only about a quarter of those who have a prostate biopsy due to an elevated PSA level are found to have prostate cancer.