Researchers have found a possible simple test that would indicate how bad a patient's prostate cancer may be, according to a new study.
The results, published in the February 12th issue of Nature, stated the amino acid sarcosine was a better way to determine the severity of the disease when compared to the traditional test used to screen for prostate cancer.
After examining samples of urine from prostate cancer patients, researchers found levels of sarcosine were elevated in 79 percent of the metastatic samples and 42 percent of the early-stage samples.
The amino acid was not found in the cancer-free samples.
Researchers said they hope a simple urine test could determine the level of aggressiveness of one's cancer.
"We end up overtreating our patients because physicians don't know which tumors will be slow-growing. With this research, we have identified a potential marker for the aggressive tumors," said Dr. Arul Chinnaivan, senior study author and director of the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology.
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 186,320 Americans will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year.