Molecular diagnostics maker Myriad Genetics has partnered with Leeds Centre for Personalised Medicine and Health (LCPMH) in the UK to investigate the clinical utility of its Prolaris test to diagnose prostate cancer.

Prolaris is an RNA-expression test, which directs the quantitative measurement of tumour cell growth characteristics to stratify the risk of prostate cancer progression.

The test measures the RNA expression levels of genes involved in disease progression.

Low gene expression has links to low disease progression risk in patients who may require active monitoring, while high gene expression relates to a higher risk in those who may benefit from additional treatment.

LCPMH head Dr Mike Messenger said: “Personalised medicine means taking the approach that when it comes to treatment and care, one size does not fit all.

“This study will explore how healthcare professionals and their patients react to being given more personalised information than usual tests can give about risk. We want to understand whether the Prolaris test results influence what they decide to do next and if so why and in what way.”

The partners will conduct a 100-subject study to assess how results from the Prolaris test will impact treatment decisions of both doctors and patients.

In case of a low-risk result, patients could avoid or delay treatment such as surgery or radiotherapy, which are invasive, expensive and associated with risks of bowel and urinary conditions and erectile dysfunction.

Myriad Genetics international operations executive vice-president Gary King said: “The Prolaris test will help men with prostate cancer to benefit from advances in genetic testing and personalised treatment plans.”

The study will also evaluate the test’s costs for routine NHS use.

LCPMH will be responsible for the study designed in alliance with the University of Leeds, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences.