Cambridge Oncometrix Develop Prostate Cancer Diagnostics For Early Detection

Cambridge Oncometrix Develop Prostate Cancer Diagnostics For Early Detection
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Although one of the leading causes of cancer death among men, it can be cured in 99% if detected in time. However, current diagnostics have major limitations. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a widely used primary diagnostic blood test, has a false positive rate of about 70% and false negative rate of over 20%. Prostate biopsies are not only plagued with high false negative rates, but are highly invasive, and developing better tests that accurately identify men with life threatening prostate cancer at an earlier stage is of importance.

The UK-based startup Cambridge Oncometrix is determined to save lives by enabling early detection of prostate cancer. They have discovered a set of novel biomarkers for the diagnosis of prostate cancer, and have developed a non-invasive, accurate, sensitive and affordable assay, called the CAMONX. The test can either be performed by men in the comfort of their homes or by a physician. The home-test will be a simple color-based dip stick test that is as simple to use as a pregnancy test, providing an accurate indication of whether they need to visit their doctor for further diagnosis. The professional version is a non-invasive, easy-to-use test that will provide immediate point-of-care results.

About 1 in 39 men will die of prostate cancer. Cambridge Oncometrix is developing a diagnostic test that accurately identify prostate cancer at an early stage, potentially reducing these devastating numbers. In addition, the test will specifically distinguish between prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia, the most common prostatic condition in men over 45, which mimics symptoms of prostate cancer. PSA, the current gold standard, is unable to distinguish between cancerous and non-cancerous conditions, giving high false positive rates. CAMONX is significantly more precise, accurate and convenient. By developing two different types of tests, one for professional use and one for home use, they are not only capable of accurately detecting aggressive forms of cancer at the point of care, but allow men to regularly check the health of their prostate in the comfort of their own home. And although there certainly are ethical questions whether this creates more anxiety and stress in healthy people, pressuring them to constantly buy more home-tests to check their prostate, the innovative technology could significantly improve treatment outcomes and survival rates.

Cambridge Oncometrix earlier in 2016 won Pitch@Palace’s People’s Choice Award, a national event established by the Duke of York to give tech companies the opportunity to share their business ideas with a global audience of influences. The startup was also a finalist of the MassChallenge UK accelerator program, and ran a crowdfunding campaign to complete their proof of concept clinical investigation.

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