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A PSA Replacement?

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The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new blood test for prostate cancer, reports MedPage Today's John Gever. The test, which was developed by Beckman Coulter, is being billed as an answer to the prostate-specific antigen accuracy problem as it measures several markers rather than just one. The Prostate Health Index test measures PSA precursor protein [-2] pro-PSA as well as total and free PSA, Gever says, and is indicated for men with PSA test results barely above the upper limit of normal. Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center's Kevin Slawin, one of the co-discoverers of [-2] pro-PSA, says the marker provides a more accurate picture of prostate health than total and free PSA do. "Combining the three markers makes the Prostate Health Index more specific than conventional PSA testing," Gever says. "A pivotal, multicenter study sponsored by Beckman Coulter found that the number of negative biopsies in patients with positive blood-test results was reduced by 31 [percent] with the Prostate Health Index versus conventional PSA screening."

The Scan

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.

Analysis of Endogenous Parvoviral Elements Found Within Animal Genomes

Researchers at PLOS Biology have examined the coevolution of endogenous parvoviral elements and animal genomes to gain insight into using the viruses as gene therapy vectors.

Saliva Testing Can Reveal Mosaic CNVs Important in Intellectual Disability

An Australian team has compared the yield of chromosomal microarray testing of both blood and saliva samples for syndromic intellectual disability in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.