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MLabs announces availability of MiPS test for prostate cancer

The University of Michigan’s Department of Pathology MLabs has announced the commercial availability of Mi-prostate score (MiPS) test for men, a new urine test that measures minute fragments of RNA in prostate cancer.

The test includes blood prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels and two molecular RNA markers specific for prostate cancer in one final score that provides a personalized prostate-cancer risk assessment, while avoiding unnecessary biopsies.

The MiPS test scans urine samples for two molecular markers that are distinct to prostate cancer.

The two molecular markers include a snippet of RNA made from a gene (PCA3) that is overactive in 95% of all prostate cancers and a RNA that is made only when two genes (TMPRSS2 and ERG) abnormally fuse.

The finding of this fusion RNA in a man’s urine sample shows the presence of prostate cancer.

University of Michigan assistant professor of pathology and urology and a Safeway-Prostate Cancer Foundation young investigator Dr Scott Tomlins co-discovered TMPRSS2:ERG fusion.

"The evidence shows that if TMPRSS2:ERG RNA is detectable at high levels in urine, a man likely has prostate cancer, whether or not his biopsy is positive for cancer,"Dr Tomlins added.

Improving the utility of the PSA blood test, the MiPS test increases clinicians’ capability of selecting high-risk prostate tumors from low-risk tumors in patients.