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Change in PSA level does not predict prostate cancer
Date:2/24/2011

NEW YORK, February 24, 2011 Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have found that change in PSA levels over time known as PSA velocity is a poor predictor of prostate cancer and may lead to many unnecessary biopsies. The new study of more than 5,000 men was published online February 24 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Andrew Vickers, PhD, Associate Attending Research Methodologist in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and lead author said, "We have found no evidence to support the recommendation that men with a high PSA velocity should be biopsied in the absence of other indications. In other words, if a man's PSA has risen rapidly in recent years, there is no cause for concern if his total PSA level is still low and his clinical exam is normal."

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men, according to the American Cancer Society. While PSA screening is widely used for the early detection of prostate cancer, it is also associated with a high rate of overdiagnosis, which can lead to unnecessary treatment and anxiety. Currently, early detection guidelines of several organizations (the National Cancer Center Network and the American Urological Association) recommend that men with a rapid rise in PSA or a high PSA velocity have a surgical biopsy for prostate cancer, even if there are no other indicators that cancer may exist. Those indicators could be an elevated baseline PSA or a positive digital rectal exam (DRE).

This study's population came from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. Five thousand five hundred and nineteen men aged 55 years and older with no previous prostate cancer diagnosis, normal DRE, and a baseline PSA of 3.0 ng/mL or less were randomly assigned to finasteride a drug commonly used to treat enlargement of the prostate gland, more commonly referred to as BPH, or benign prostatic hypertrophy or
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Contact: Courtney DeNicola Nowak
denicolc@mskcc.org
212-639-3573
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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