Arnhem, April 2009 -- The European Association of Urology (EAU) has taken into consideration the recent scientific information on randomised screening studies on prostate cancer (Schrder et al, NEJM 2009). Based on the results of the European Randomised Study for Screening of Prostate Cancer (ERSPC), the EAU has formulated a position statement regarding prostate cancer screening in Europe, and the subsequent actions to be taken by health professionals and health authorities.
In summary, the ERSPC reports on a relative prostate cancer mortality reduction of at least 20% by PSA-based population screening in 162,000 asymptomatic men aged 55-69 years. For every prostate cancer death prevented, 1,410 men have to undergo screening, while 48 are needed to be treated in excess of the control group population to save one prostate cancer death. Results of the PLCO (Prostate, Lung, Colon and Ovary) US randomised study of screening were also published in the same issue of the NEJM (Andriole et al, NEJM 2009) and to date show no significant effect of screening on mortality from the disease, but suffered from a significant level of contamination in the control arm. The study continues.
The EAU adopts the conclusions of the ERSPC study and recognizes the benefit of screening in terms of mortality reduction, as well as the adverse effects of overdiagnosis and overtreatment of prostate cancers which could be quantified for the first time in the setting of a randomized screening study. Further publication of relevant data is awaited from the ERSPC group in due course to inform the debate.
In the interest of men's health in Europe and elsewhere, the EAU formulates the following statements:
|Contact: Lindy Brouwer|
European Association of Urology