Researchers Develop Model to Predict Prostate Cancer Risk

High-grade disease more likely in men who are black, have higher PSA and older age at biopsy

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have developed a model that can be used to predict prostate cancer risk based on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, family history, race and other factors, according to a study in the April 19 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The model suggests that men who are black, have an older age at biopsy, higher PSA and an abnormal digital rectal exam result are more likely to have high-grade disease.

Ian M. Thompson, M.D., of the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, and colleagues studied data on 5,519 men aged 55 or older from a large cancer study, with at least one PSA test and digital rectal examination the year before biopsy. Overall, 1,211 men (21.9 percent) were diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Higher PSA levels, family prostate cancer history and abnormal digital rectal examination result predicted prostate cancer, while PSA velocity was not predictive. A previous negative prostate biopsy did not reduce the risk of a prostate cancer diagnosis, but it did reduce the chances of being diagnosed with high-grade disease.

In an editorial, H. Ballentine Carter, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, writes that when scientists are able to assess multiple risk factors, the approach outlined in the study "will help identify those men who will benefit from active treatment."

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