Urology Austin

Know Error

Urology Austin has incorporated Know Error DNA testing as a standard of care for all men undergoing prostate biopsies. Below is a simple algorithm explaining Know Error. We have also included questions and answers to help our patients better understand the nature of this test and its benefits.

What is Know Error testing?

Know Error is a prostate biopsy system that utilizes scientific forensics, unique patient bar coding labels and DNA testing to verify that specific prostate tissue samples belong to the correct patient. Each test kit contains the components needed for sampling one patient only.

Who undergoes this testing?

Every male patient who is undergoing a prostate biopsy is eligible for Know Error testing. While very beneficial, Know Error is not mandatory so each patient has the ability to opt out.

When and how is Know Error testing performed?

Know Error is a simple DNA test that is taken prior to the prostate biopsy. A medical assistant uses a small cotton swab to take a DNA sample from inside the patient’s cheek – a quick and painless method of collection. At the time of collection, the medical assistant will be wearing gloves to guarantee that the DNA sample is not contaminated. The cotton swab is immediately packaged and labeled with the patient’s information for future evaluation.

Where is the DNA sample sent?

After collection, the Know Error kit is sent to Strand Diagnostics, the manufacturer of Know Error. This kit is typically sent overnight and will be matched to the patient’s prostate biopsy samples.

IMPORTANT NOTE: While all patients can choose to have DNA sampling, Strand Diagnostics will only receive biopsy samples from patients who are diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Why is this test beneficial?

When the Laboratory Pathologist identifies prostate tissue that is cancerous, it is vitally important to make sure that the tissue belongs to a specific patient. The Know Error verification process definitively matches a patient’s DNA to the cancerous prostate tissue. This matching system guarantees that the person being diagnosed with prostate cancer actually has the disease. Know Error protects patients from being falsely diagnosed based on a error in tissue sample misidentification.


The cost of this procedure will be billed to the patient’s insurance carrier. However, there may be out-of-pocket costs. Patients can call Strand Diagnostics Billing directly at 1-888-924-6779.

Step-by-step procedure

Step 1

The male patient arrives at Urology Austin for his biopsy procedure.

Step 2

A DNA sample is taken from inside the patient’s cheek using a cotton swab. The DNA sample is packaged in the Know Error kit along with the patient’s identification.

Step 3

The patient undergoes the biopsy procedure – either Ultrasound or MRI guided.

Step 4

Prostate biopsy tissue samples are sent to the Urology Austin Pathology Lab for testing. At the same time, the patient’s DNA sample is sent to Strand Diagnostics, manufacturer of Know Error.

Step 5

IF CANCER IS DIAGNOSED, the patient’s biopsy tissue samples are sent to Strand Diagnostics for DNA testing. They will then match this to the patient’s DNA collected from their cheek. Strand ONLY receives cancerous tissue for DNA matching.

Step 6

Once Strand Diagnostics confirms a match between DNA obtained from the cheek swab and the DNA from the cancerous tissue, they will notify the Urology Austin provider. This verification process guarantees that the person being diagnosed with prostate cancer actually has cancer. This verification process protects patients from receiving a false diagnosis based on an error in tissue sample misidentification.

If you have additional questions, talk to their Urology Austin provider or their medical team. Contact Urology Austin to schedule an appointment.