Your FRIEND: Fast, Reliable, Intuitive, Easy, Non-invasive Diagnosis for malignant prostate cancer

SDU-Denmark 2020 awards

Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most prominent type of cancer in men around the globe. PCa develops in the prostate, which is the part of the male reproductive organ that produces fluid for semen. Despite a relatively high survival rate, more than 350,000 men die from PCa worldwide each year, many of which could have been prevented by early detection [1]. Currently, methods of detection rely on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening, invasive rectal scans, and prostate biopsies, which can lead to severe downstream complications such as erectile dysfunction, incontinence and sepsis [2]. Overall, this diagnostic procedure is flawed in the way that it can lead to both overdiagnosis and overtreatment of men. These are some of the problems that PROSTATUS aims to address.

Through the use of CRISPR-Cas mediated systems, we want to detect the presence of DNA biomarkers for the congenital risk of developing PCa in saliva samples, and the presence of RNA biomarkers for malignant PCa in urine samples. The overall aim is to provide people with highly accurate diagnostic tools to help spread awareness about PCa, while also decreasing the rate of false positives and thereby the need for unnecessary invasive procedures.


[1] Pernar, Claire H et al. “The Epidemiology of Prostate Cancer.” Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine vol. 8,12 a030361. 3 Dec. 2018, doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a030361
[2] S. W. D. Merriel, G. Funston, and W. Hamilton, "Prostate Cancer in Primary Care," (in eng), Adv Ther, vol. 35, no. 9, pp. 1285-1294, 2018.

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