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Research News In Brief

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Study touts PSA "velocity": Physicians should consider testing for the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) earlier, says a study in the Nov. 1 Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Testing men before they reach their 40s would help establish a baseline with which to compare later tests for what the researchers called PSA "velocity" - or the rate at which serum PSA levels change. The researchers reviewed blood samples dating back to 1958 of 980 men in a longitudinal study. Of those studied, 104 had prostate cancer but did not die of the disease, 20 died of prostate cancer, and 856 never developed it. A better predictor of which men died of the disease was not the blood levels of PSA, but the PSA velocity. That measure, taken 10-15 years before diagnosis, was associated with prostate cancer survival rates 25 years later. Men with PSA velocity higher than 0.35 ng/mL per year had a higher relative risk of prostate cancer death than those whose velocity was below 0.35 ng/mL. Current guidelines suggest that men should begin PSA testing at age 40...
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