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New prostate cancer test more specific, sensitive than PSA test
Date:5/16/2011

out two hours, again similar to the PSA test. The test results in an index of numbers used to diagnose cancer, with a score of 0 to 0.5 indicating a benign result and 0.5 to 1 indicating the presence of prostate cancer, Zeng said.

In the new test, sensitivity - the percentage of men with prostate cancer who were correctly identified as having a malignancy - was 79 percent compared to the 52 percent found in PSA testing. Specificity - the percentage of healthy men who were correctly identified as not having prostate cancer - was 84 percent compared to the 79 percent found when testing for PSA alone.

The rate of false-positives using conventional PSA testing is 21 percent. With the new A+PSA assay, the false-positive rate is 16 percent, Zeng said.

"Science has improved so much since the PSA test was developed and I think it's time for a more specific and sensitive test to be developed," Zeng said. "I think we have a test that has great potential to improve the diagnosis of prostate cancer. I knew it would be better than the classic PSA test, but I was amazed at how much better it really was in this study."

Dr. Allan Pantuck, an associate professor of urology, Jonsson Cancer Center researcher and a study author, said a more specific and sensitive test for prostate cancer would be a welcome addition to the diagnostic tool box.

"While measuring PSA is useful in identifying men with prostate cancer, some men with prostate cancer have a normal PSA level and small elevations in PSA above normal may be produced both by prostate cancer as well as an enlarged but benign prostate," Pantuck said. "Combining PSA with a panel of tests that measure an individual man's anti-cancer immune response may better identify who has prostate cancer and who can be spared an unnecessary invasive biopsy."

Zeng and his team are working now to adjust and improve the statistical index used in their test to generate the "score." He'
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Contact: Kim Irwin
kirwin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-206-2805
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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