Online tool developed to predict prostate cancer risk

A team of scientists in Cambridge has developed an online tool for predicting an individual’s risk of developing prostate cancer.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge and The Institute of Cancer Research London, developed the web-based prediction tool for patients and clinicians to detect cancer earlier, where it forms part of the work at the Early Cancer Institute Research Clinic, embedded within the new Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital.

The data used to develop CanRisk-Prostate so far has been from men of European ancestry, with the team adding that they hope to be able to include data from men of other ethnicities as further research is undertaken.

Professor Antonis Antoniou, Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge, said: “What we need is a way of identifying those men who are at greatest risk, allowing us to target screening and diagnostic tests where they are most needed, while also reducing the harms for those men who have low risk of the disease. This is what CanRisk-Prostate aims to do.”

Dr Tommy Nyberg, MRC Biostatistics Unit at Cambridge, added: “We hope this will help clinicians and genetic counsellors assess their clients’ risk and provide the appropriate follow-up.

“Over the next 12 months, we aim to build this tool into the widely used CanRisk tool, which will facilitate the risk-based clinical management of men seen in family cancer clinics and enable risk-adapted early detection approaches to the population at large.”

Professor Ros Eeles, The Institute of Cancer Research, London and co-author on the study, added: “This is an important step forward as it will enable clinicians to have conversations with men about their individual risk of prostate cancer based on the most accurate computer model to date. This will help them in making decisions about screening.”

To explore the tool further, please click here.