- Government and Prostate Cancer UK have unveiled a £42 million screening trial to find ways of detecting the UK’s most common male cancer earlier
- Hundreds of thousands of men across the country will participate, with one in ten participants set to be Black men who have a much higher prostate cancer risk
- NHS England will carry out a suite of improvements to men’s health pages online, and the first ever Men’s Health Ambassador set to be appointed by government
A major new prostate cancer screening trial backed by £42 million from the government and Prostate Cancer UK could save thousands of men’s lives.
The groundbreaking trial, called TRANSFORM, will use innovative screening methods like MRI scans to detect prostate cancer early. Hundreds of thousands of men across the UK will participate in the study, the first of its kind.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the UK, with over 52,000 diagnoses each year. However, there is currently no screening programme for prostate cancer, which often has no symptoms until it has advanced. 12,000 men die from prostate cancer annually.
Effective screening could identify prostate cancer before it spreads, potentially saving men’s lives. The new methods in the TRANSFORM trial aim to be more accurate than current blood tests, which can miss some cancers and suggest cancer where none exists. Crucially, screening could spot cancer even without symptoms.
1 in 4 black men will develop prostate cancer, double the risk for other men. To address this disparity, 1 in 10 participants invited will be black men ages 45-75. Overall, men aged 50-75 will be recruited through their GP and invited for screening.
The government has invested £16 million in the trial through the National Institute of Health Research. Prostate Cancer UK, which has led the trial’s development, is providing £26 million. The trial is expected to begin in Spring 2024, with recruitment starting in Autumn 2024.
Nearly 500,000 men are currently living with or after prostate cancer in the UK. This screening trial could change the lives of men and their families affected by this disease.