Tumor Cells in Blood Predict Spread of Prostate Cancer

Abstract written by Katherine Heighway, medically reviewed by Dr. Robert Carlson, M.D.

New research shows that tumor cells in the blood can predict the spread of prostate cancer.

The study, presented at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference in Liverpool, found that by examining 80 blood samples from men with prostate cancer, the blood with more of the cells were more likely to have the cancer spread. This means that the tumor cells can indicate whether the cancer may spread.

Around 11,000 people in England die from prostate cancer each year, so researchers continue to look for new ways to monitor the disease. And according to Dr. Young-Jie Lu, lead author of the study, this new research may lead to new ways in monitoring prostate cancer. Dr. Chris Park, Chair of the NCRI’s Prostate Cancer Clinical Studies Group, also said that by discovering new ways of predicting whether prostate cancer may spread, doctors can make better decisions on treatments.

Funding was provided by Orchid Cancer Appeal, ANGLE plc and Chinese Scholarship Council.