A less invasive way to test prostate cancer

Dr Alexander Wyatt
Dr Alexander Wyatt, a CCS-funded researcher

When a person is suspected to have prostate cancer, the most common way to test the genetic profile of their tumour to determine which drugs would work best for them is a biopsy – an invasive test that can be painful and stressful for patients.

CCS-funded researchers Drs Kim Chi and Alexander Wyatt and their teams want to find a better way. They are developing a blood test that looks for tiny fragments of DNA a tumour sheds into the bloodstream – effectively diagnosing and monitoring prostate cancer without the need for invasive tests.

It’s hoped that this blood test will also increase the precision of prostate cancer diagnoses and indicate the most personalized therapies for each patient – increasing their chances of survival.

“Without donor support, I don’t think I would have an operating laboratory,” says Dr Wyatt. “That’s how fundamental your support has been to our success here and making sure that prostate cancer research in Canada thrives.”