According to the American Cancer Society (ACS) about one in eight American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, meaning in 2021 alone 248,530 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer (ACS, 2021).
Veterans have a two-fold increased risk of prostate cancer and studies are still trying to sort out risk factors, although agent orange and chemical exposure have been identified as major contributors (Cancer 2013 Garzotto et al). This increased risk underscores the need for early screening in Veterans because if detected early, prostate cancer is treatable in most cases.
Recent research from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) found the five-year survival rate for men with localized prostate cancer is nearly 100%, therefore the prognosis is excellent if caught early.
Prostate specific antigen, or PSA, remains important for early detection of prostate cancer, but PSA is not very specific and can be affected by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), infections, age, medications, and even bicycle riding. This lack of specificity can lead to an over detection of men that were not at risk of prostate cancer. A key goal has been the development of moresuccessful tools that can help more accurately detect prostate cancer.
A leading US Veteran Urologist, during a webinar in February 2021, framed up the situation well as, “The goal of screening and early detection, and the goal of biomarker development is not finding more prostate cancer, it is finding the potentially lethal subset of cancers while they are still curable.” – UCSF Urology expert. Find the full talk here.
The ExoDx™ Prostate Test can help
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines recommend a needle biopsy for men with an elevated PSA; but unfortunately, it is difficult to understand which men with PSAs between 2-10 ng/mL (also known as the PSA ‘gray zone’) have high-grade or clinically significant prostate cancer.
When it comes to making biopsy decisions, the American Urological Association (AUA) guidelines recommend a shared decision-making process between physician and patient.
The ExoDx Prostate test gives an additional (PSA independent) data point to the discussion and can give confidence and direction to the prostate biopsy decision. The ExoDx Prostate is a simple non-invasive urine test that does not require a digital rectal exam (DRE) and is designed to help men with a PSA in the 2-10ng/mL gray zone to determine their risk. The ExoDx Prostate test provides unique information on the man’s risk of high-grade prostate cancer (Gleason 7 or higher) that enables physician and patient shared decision-making.
ExoDx Prostate test is completely independent of existing clinical information, that is already available to the physician, and provides a valuable perspective on the need for a man to proceed to or defer a prostate biopsy.
“The ExoDx Prostate test is a simple urine assay to assess risk for clinically significant prostate cancer. Not only is it easy to use and helpful to men in planning their next steps, but also enables the man to be more confident in their decision to defer or proceed to a biopsy. My hope within the Veterans Prostate Cancer Awareness initiative is that all US veterans will dedicate the time to get screened earlier for prostate cancer and utilize the ExoDx Prostate test as standard part of that process. We should strive to ‘Know Your Number’ as well as we know our own birthday”
– Mike Crosby, CDR USN Ret. Veteran & Founder of Veterans Prostate Cancer Awareness
What is the ExoDx Prostate test and how does it work?
ExoDx Prostate test harnesses the power of exosomes, small lipid and protein ‘bubbles’ that number in the billions per milliliter of plasma, urine and other biofluids.
Exosomes are released from cancer cells and contain signals (proteins, DNA and RNA) that can be detected in the urine and give indications of disease. Specifically in prostate cancer, the ExoDx Prostate test looks at expression of 3 prostate cancer genes in urine exosomes.
The ExoDx Prostate test then combines these 3 genes into a score indicating the risk for high-grade prostate cancer (Gleason 7 or higher) on prostate biopsy.
How is the test done?
The test can be performed conveniently in a doctor’s office or in the home with the At-Home Collection Kit sent directly to a patient’s residence. Once you receive your At-Home Collection Kit just unpack, freeze ice packs overnight, collect your sample with the Colli-pee device, package together and ship to the lab with pre-paid FedEx shipping.
One thing that makes the ExoDx Prostate test unique is that only first pass urine is collected in the Colli-pee device as this has a more concentrated number of exosomes released from the prostate. Once the tests are run in the Exosome Diagnostics Laboratory the results are sent directly to your doctor so that you can both discuss.
“I’m 61 and my PSA stays between 6 – 6.5ng/mL. I’ve always had a normal DRE. I discussed the pros and cons of getting a biopsy with my doctor, and then learned about the ExoDx test. We decided to get the test. My result came back below the cut-point at 10.67, and now he doesn’t want to see me for six months! Thank you for your test!”
– US Veteran
Now available for US Veterans
The ExoDx Prostate test is now covered under the General Services Administration (GSA) Award contract with Exosome Diagnostics. GSA coverage means that the ExoDx Prostate test is now available to 9 million additional men and 140 government entities including the VA Healthcare System, military branches such as Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, as well as the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, and other legislative bodies.
The ExoDx Prostate test can be utilized as a benefit for veterans not only at VA hospital sites but also within the expanded Community Care Network (CCN), an extended network of local medical providers linked to the VA system.
Take Charge of your prostate health today
Find out more about the ExoDx Prostate test today on our website including: a list of questions that can be discussed with your physician, frequently asked questions, a brochure with more on test coverage for veterans and more. Contact us with any questions.
The next step for you is to talk with your doctor to see if the ExoDx Prostate test is the right choice and if so, your physician can order the test.
Once ordered your urine sample can be collected in the physician’s office or an At-Home Collection Kit is sent to your home and sent to a laboratory for testing. The results are sent to your physician and the test adds the additional information to help you get on with your life and take the next steps with confidence.