PCUK TRANSFORM Screening Trial Announced

Prostate Cancer UK recently announced that it is launching a £42 million research programme – the TRANSFORM trial – to find the best way to screen men for prostate cancer, so one day all men at risk are invited for regular tests to find aggressive cancers in time for a cure.

It will be the biggest trial in prostate cancer screening for 20 years and has been developed in consultation, and with the backing of, the NHS, the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and the UK Government, who have committed to contribute £16 million.

The TRANSFORM trial, involving hundreds of thousands of men, will compare the most promising tests and provide definitive evidence about the best way to screen for prostate cancer. This is urgently needed. 12,000 men die of prostate cancer each year. It is the most common cancer in the UK without a screening programme, despite the fact that it usually has no symptoms until it has spread and become incurable.

Today in the UK, prostate cancer is the most common cancer without a screening programme. Every year, 12,000 men die from the disease, which usually has no symptoms until it has already spread and become incurable.

The TRANSFORM trial will also aim to address some of the inequalities that exist in prostate cancer diagnosis today. For example, 1 in 4 Black men will develop prostate cancer – double the risk of other men – and often at a younger age. Yet previous research has failed to involve and recruit enough Black men and so has not been able to provide evidence needed to diagnose them earlier using a targeted approach, at least 10 per cent of the men who are invited to participate in the trial wil be Black.

Details of the research itself, including what tests are being trialled and how men can join the trial, will be finalised in Spring 2024.