A urine test could help men avoid an unnecessary initial biopsy for prostate cancer.
Scientists said they have found a way to identify biomarkers for the disease by combining information from multiple parts of urine samples.
Prostate cancer, the UK’s most common cancer in men, is commonly tested using blood tests, a physical examination known as a digital rectal examination, an MRI scan or a biopsy.
Researchers at the University of East Anglia previously developed an experimental new test which diagnoses aggressive prostate cancer and predicts whether patients will require treatment up to five years earlier than standard clinical methods.
Their latest work takes data from two different components in urine which further improves its use for diagnosis and could reduce the need for prostate cancer biopsies by around 60% in five years.
However, Dr Daniel Brewer warned that the research is still in the “very early days”.
Lead author Shea Connell said: “Current practice assesses a patient’s disease using a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test, prostate biopsy and MRI.
“But up to 60% of men with a raised PSA level are negative for prostate cancer on biopsy.
“So it is clear that there is a considerable need for additional more accurate tests.”