Myriad Genetics‘ Prolaris test has demonstrated the prognostic ability in detecting prostate cancer in needle biopsy material, according to a study published in the British Journal of Cancer.

The study, entitled "Prognostic Value of a Cell Cycle Progression Signature for Prostate Cancer Death in a Conservatively Managed Needle Biopsy Cohort", detailed the ability of the test to accurately predict prostate cancer aggressiveness and consequent death from the disease.

The Prolaris assay measures the expression level of genes involved with cell cycle progression in tumour specimens to predict disease outcome and aggressiveness.

The prostate cancer test is designed to provide patients and physicians with the ability to better diagnose disease outcome, thereby optimising treatment and decision making.

Myriad Genetics chief scientific officer Jerry Lanchbury said the Prolaris test offers men and healthcare providers a tool to make better-informed treatment decisions based on the aggressiveness of the disease.

"We believe this test will provide critical information needed to avoid unnecessary and life altering morbidities associated with treating the disease in men who have a less aggressive form of prostate cancer," Lanchbury added.

Researchers at Myriad and the Queen Mary, University of London, examined the Prolaris Score of 349 prostate cancer patients who had been diagnosed by needle biopsy and managed conservatively. They found that the assay is a better predictor of disease aggressiveness and death, helping to manage prostate cancer.

The five-year survival rate and ten-year survival rate in patients with higher Prolaris scores was found to be 63% and 44%, respectively.

Researchers also reported that prostate cancer patients with lower Prolaris Scores when left untreated showed a five-year survival rate of 93%. The research has been funded by Cancer Research UK.

Myriad Genetics is focused on developing and marketing molecular diagnostic products to evaluate a person’s risk of developing disease, guide treatment decisions and assess a patient’s risk of disease progression and disease recurrence.