Blood Test Spots Severe Enlarged Prostate

It correctly detected the condition 90% of the time, study found

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WEDNESDAY, Feb. 14, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. researchers say they've developed a blood test to detect a severe form of enlarged prostate disease (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH).

BPH symptoms include urgent and frequent urination. In men with severe BPH, these symptoms are more pronounced.

The study of 85 men was conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. They found that significantly higher levels of a protein made by the JM-27 gene were associated with severe BPH that's more likely to result in bladder-related complications if left untreated.

The Hopkins team also developed a blood test to detect the JM-27 protein in men with symptoms of severe BPH.

If it receives government approval, this test could be used to identify men with severe BPH at an early state, before they suffer damage to the bladder or urinary tract.

"Our experiments show that the expression of this marker is related to the presence of the severe form of BPH and not to the size of the prostate or to the presence or risk of prostate cancer," team leader Robert Getzenberg said in a prepared statement.

"What we're looking at is two diseases: BPH that produces more mild symptoms and is less likely to lead to bladder and other urinary tract damage and BPH that is highly symptomatic with increased potential to do damage to the bladder," he said.

This new biomarker test correctly identifies about 90 percent of men with severe BPH and incorrectly identifies severe BPH in 23 percent of cases, Getzenberg said.

The study is published in the February issue of the Journal of Urology.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about enlarged prostate.

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Medicine, news release, February 2007

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