ASCO: Urine Test Could Guide Prostate Biopsy Decisions

Study finds PCA3 test helpful in predicting whether a biopsy will indicate prostate cancer

THURSDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- A new urine test for prostate cancer detection, the PCA3 (prostate cancer gene 3) test, may reduce the need for repeat prostate biopsies, as the novel test was shown to accurately predict whether a biopsy will indicate prostate cancer in research presented at the 2010 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, held from March 5 to 7 in San Francisco.

In prospective sub-analysis of the Reduction by Dutasteride of Prostate Cancer Events (REDUCE) trial, Jack Groskopf, Ph.D., of Gen-Probe Inc. in San Diego, and colleagues evaluated PCA3 scores determined from urine specimens of 1,072 men who were in the placebo arm of the REDUCE trial and scheduled for biopsy at two years and/or four years.

The researchers found that prostate cancer was diagnosed in 6 percent of men with a PCA3 score of less than five, and in 57 percent of those with a score above 100. PCA3 score was significantly correlated with biopsy Gleason Score. In addition, PCA3 score determined at two years was a strong predictor of biopsy outcome at four years, with men with negative biopsy and a higher PCA3 score at two years more likely than those with a lower PCA3 score to be diagnosed with prostate cancer at four years.

"PCA3 correlated with biopsy Gleason Score, providing further evidence that PCA3 might be useful for identifying more aggressive prostate cancer. Finally, PCA3 may be detecting undiagnosed cancers, as we found that PCA3 scores measured from biopsy-negative men at year two of the trial predicted biopsy outcome at year four," the authors write.

Several study authors reported financial, consulting and employment relationships with Gen-Probe Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline, manufacturers of the PCA3 test.

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