A three-minute test for prostate cancer that could produce immediate results and be more accurate than the current test is being developed by British scientists.

The test, which could be available in five years, focuses on citrate instead of measuring the levels of a protein made by the prostate gland. Citrate, a compound that provides energy for cells are usually 1,000 times higher than in the blood but will fall with the onset of prostate cancer.

The new test is still in its early development stage and will need to be tested on samples from thousands of men before it is suitable for the market.

Professor David Parker, of Durham University, said: "It's been a complex process to develop the technique but we're very optimistic about it.

"Ultimately, this could provide an accurate method of screening for prostate cancer in men that could be carried out in three minutes."

The Prostate Cancer Charity pointed out that taking a sample of prostate fluid is more invasive than a blood test and is looking to refine the test by using samples of seminal fluid, which may be easier to obtain.

Read more: Three-minute test [Mail Online]