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Concept: Prostate-specific antigen


Background The comparative effectiveness of treatments for prostate cancer that is detected by prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing remains uncertain. Methods We compared active monitoring, radical prostatectomy, and external-beam radiotherapy for the treatment of clinically localized prostate cancer. Between 1999 and 2009, a total of 82,429 men 50 to 69 years of age received a PSA test; 2664 received a diagnosis of localized prostate cancer, and 1643 agreed to undergo randomization to active monitoring (545 men), surgery (553), or radiotherapy (545). The primary outcome was prostate-cancer mortality at a median of 10 years of follow-up. Secondary outcomes included the rates of disease progression, metastases, and all-cause deaths. Results There were 17 prostate-cancer-specific deaths overall: 8 in the active-monitoring group (1.5 deaths per 1000 person-years; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7 to 3.0), 5 in the surgery group (0.9 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 0.4 to 2.2), and 4 in the radiotherapy group (0.7 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 0.3 to 2.0); the difference among the groups was not significant (P=0.48 for the overall comparison). In addition, no significant difference was seen among the groups in the number of deaths from any cause (169 deaths overall; P=0.87 for the comparison among the three groups). Metastases developed in more men in the active-monitoring group (33 men; 6.3 events per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 4.5 to 8.8) than in the surgery group (13 men; 2.4 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 1.4 to 4.2) or the radiotherapy group (16 men; 3.0 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 1.9 to 4.9) (P=0.004 for the overall comparison). Higher rates of disease progression were seen in the active-monitoring group (112 men; 22.9 events per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 19.0 to 27.5) than in the surgery group (46 men; 8.9 events per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 6.7 to 11.9) or the radiotherapy group (46 men; 9.0 events per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 6.7 to 12.0) (P<0.001 for the overall comparison). Conclusions At a median of 10 years, prostate-cancer-specific mortality was low irrespective of the treatment assigned, with no significant difference among treatments. Surgery and radiotherapy were associated with lower incidences of disease progression and metastases than was active monitoring. (Funded by the National Institute for Health Research; Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN20141297 ; number, NCT02044172 .).

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Prostate cancer, Urology, Radiation therapy, Screening, Benign prostatic hyperplasia, Prostate-specific antigen


Background Abiraterone acetate, an androgen biosynthesis inhibitor, improves overall survival in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer after chemotherapy. We evaluated this agent in patients who had not received previous chemotherapy. Methods In this double-blind study, we randomly assigned 1088 patients to receive abiraterone acetate (1000 mg) plus prednisone (5 mg twice daily) or placebo plus prednisone. The coprimary end points were radiographic progression-free survival and overall survival. Results The study was unblinded after a planned interim analysis that was performed after 43% of the expected deaths had occurred. The median radiographic progression-free survival was 16.5 months with abiraterone-prednisone and 8.3 months with prednisone alone (hazard ratio for abiraterone-prednisone vs. prednisone alone, 0.53; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.45 to 0.62; P<0.001). Over a median follow-up period of 22.2 months, overall survival was improved with abiraterone-prednisone (median not reached, vs. 27.2 months for prednisone alone; hazard ratio, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.61 to 0.93; P=0.01) but did not cross the efficacy boundary. Abiraterone-prednisone showed superiority over prednisone alone with respect to time to initiation of cytotoxic chemotherapy, opiate use for cancer-related pain, prostate-specific antigen progression, and decline in performance status. Grade 3 or 4 mineralocorticoid-related adverse events and abnormalities on liver-function testing were more common with abiraterone-prednisone. Conclusions Abiraterone improved radiographic progression-free survival, showed a trend toward improved overall survival, and significantly delayed clinical decline and initiation of chemotherapy in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. (Funded by Janssen Research and Development, formerly Cougar Biotechnology; number, NCT00887198 .).

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Chemotherapy, Prostate cancer, Radiation therapy, Androgen, Prostate-specific antigen


BACKGROUND: A small pre-test study was conducted to ascertain potential harm and anxiety associated with distributing information about possible cancer treatment options at the time of biopsy, prior to knowledge about a definitive cancer diagnosis. Priming men about the availability of multiple options before they have a confirmed diagnosis may be an opportunity to engage patients in more informed decision-making. METHODS: Men with an elevated PSA test or suspicious Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) who were referred to a urology clinic for a biopsy were randomized to receive either the clinic’s usual care (UC) biopsy instruction sheet (n = 11) or a pre-biopsy educational (ED) packet containing the biopsy instruction sheet along with a booklet about the biopsy procedure and a prostate cancer treatment decision aid originally written for newly diagnosed men that described in detail possible treatment options (n = 18). RESULTS: A total of 62% of men who were approached agreed to be randomized, and 83% of the ED group confirmed they used the materials. Anxiety scores were similar for both groups while awaiting the biopsy procedure, with anxiety scores trending lower in the ED group: 41.2 on a prostate-specific anxiety instrument compared to 51.7 in the UC group (p = 0.13). ED participants reported better overall quality of life while awaiting biopsy compared to the UC group (76.4 vs. 48.5, p = 0.01). The small number of men in the ED group who went on to be diagnosed with cancer reported being better informed about the risks and side effects of each option compared to men diagnosed with cancer in the UC group (p = 0.07). In qualitative discussions, men generally reported they found the pre-biopsy materials to be helpful and indicated having information about possible treatment options reduced their anxiety. However, 2 of 18 men reported they did not want to think about treatment options until after they knew their biopsy results. CONCLUSIONS: In this small sample offering pre-biopsy education about potential treatment options was generally well received by patients, appeared to be beneficial to men who went on to be diagnosed, and did not appear to increase anxiety unnecessarily among those who had a negative biopsy.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Biopsy, Prostate cancer, Screening, Benign prostatic hyperplasia, Rectal examination, Prostate-specific antigen


Prostate cancer screening depends on a careful balance of benefits, in terms of reduced prostate cancer mortality, and harms, in terms of overdiagnosis and overtreatment. We aimed to estimate the effect on overdiagnosis of restricting prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing by age and baseline PSA.

Concepts: Cancer, Prostate cancer, Urology, Screening, Prostate, Overdiagnosis, Prostate-specific antigen, Prostate cancer screening


Familial prostate cancer risk estimates are inflated by clinically insignificant low-risk cancer, diagnosed after prostate-specific antigen testing. We provide age-specific probabilities of non-low- and high-risk prostate cancer.

Concepts: Family, Cancer, Metastasis, Prostate cancer, Decision theory, Probability, Prostate, Prostate-specific antigen


DESCRIPTION: Prostate cancer is an important health problem in men. It rarely causes death in men younger than 50 years; most deaths associated with it occur in men older than 75 years. The benefits of screening with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test are outweighed by the harms for most men. Prostate cancer never becomes clinically significant in a patient’s lifetime in a considerable proportion of men with prostate cancer detected with the PSA test. They will receive no benefit and are subject to substantial harms from the treatment of prostate cancer. The American College of Physicians (ACP) developed this guidance statement for clinicians by assessing current prostate cancer screening guidelines developed by other organizations. ACP believes that it is more valuable to provide clinicians with a rigorous review of available guidelines rather than develop a new guideline on the same topic when several guidelines are available on a topic or when existing guidelines conflict. The purpose of this guidance statement is to critically review available guidelines to help guide internists and other clinicians in making decisions about screening for prostate cancer. The target patient population for this guidance statement is all adult men. METHODS: This guidance statement is derived from an appraisal of available guidelines on screening for prostate cancer. Authors searched the National Guideline Clearinghouse to identify prostate cancer screening guidelines in the United States and selected 4 developed by the American College of Preventive Medicine, American Cancer Society, American Urological Association, and U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The AGREE II (Appraisal of Guidelines, Research and Evaluation in Europe) instrument was used to evaluate the guidelines. GUIDANCE STATEMENT 1: ACP recommends that clinicians inform men between the age of 50 and 69 years about the limited potential benefits and substantial harms of screening for prostate cancer. ACP recommends that clinicians base the decision to screen for prostate cancer using the prostate-specific antigen test on the risk for prostate cancer, a discussion of the benefits and harms of screening, the patient’s general health and life expectancy, and patient preferences. ACP recommends that clinicians should not screen for prostate cancer using the prostate-specific antigen test in patients who do not express a clear preference for screening. GUIDANCE STATEMENT 2: ACP recommends that clinicians should not screen for prostate cancer using the prostate-specific antigen test in average-risk men under the age of 50 years, men over the age of 69 years, or men with a life expectancy of less than 10 to 15 years.

Concepts: Cancer, Prostate cancer, Urology, Screening, Prostate, American Cancer Society, Prostate-specific antigen, Prostate cancer screening


Answer questions and earn CME/CNE The eighth edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) Staging Manual has been updated and improved to ensure the highest degree of clinical relevance and to improve its utility for patient evaluation and clinical research. Major changes include: 1) pathologically organ-confined disease is now considered pT2 and is no longer subclassified by extent of involvement or laterality, 2) tumor grading now includes both the Gleason score (as in the seventh edition criteria) and the grade group (introduced in the eighth edition criteria), 3) prognostic stage group III includes select, organ-confined disease based on prostate-specific antigen and Gleason/grade group status, and 4) 2 statistical prediction models are included in the staging manual. The AJCC will continue to critically analyze emerging prostate cancer biomarkers and tools for their ability to prognosticate and guide treatment decision making with the highest level of accuracy and confidence for patients and physicians. CA Cancer J Clin 2017. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

Concepts: Cancer, Critical thinking, Lung cancer, Cancer staging, Prostate cancer, American Cancer Society, Prostate-specific antigen, American Joint Committee on Cancer


Changes in prostate cancer screening practices in the United States have led to recent declines in overall incidence, but it is unknown whether relaxed screening has led to changes in the incidence of advanced and metastatic prostate cancer at diagnosis.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, United States, Prostate cancer, Screening, Overdiagnosis, Prostate-specific antigen


IMPORTANCE Prostate cancer screening with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test remains controversial. OBJECTIVE To review evidence from randomized trials and related modeling studies examining the effect of PSA screening vs no screening on prostate cancer-specific mortality and to suggest an approach balancing potential benefits and harms. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials were searched from January 1, 2010, to April 3, 2013, for PSA screening trials to update a previous systematic review. Another search was performed in EMBASE and MEDLINE to identify modeling studies extending the results of the 2 large randomized trials identified. The American Heart Association Evidence-Based Scoring System was used to rate level of evidence. RESULTS Two trials-the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) screening trial and the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC)-dominate the evidence regarding PSA screening. The former trial demonstrated an increase in cancer incidence in the screening group (relative risk [RR], 1.12; 95% CI, 1.07-1.17) but no cancer-specific mortality benefit to PSA screening after 13-year follow-up (RR, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.87-1.36). The ERSPC demonstrated an increase in cancer incidence with screening (RR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.57-1.69) and an improvement in the risk of prostate cancer-specific death after 11 years (RR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.68-0.91). The ERSPC documented that 37 additional men needed to receive a diagnosis through screening for every 1 fewer prostate cancer death after 11 years of follow-up among men aged 55 to 69 years (level B evidence for prostate cancer mortality reduction). Harms associated with screening include false-positive results and complications of biopsy and treatment. Modeling studies suggest that this high ratio of additional men receiving diagnoses to prostate cancer deaths prevented will decrease during a longer follow-up (level B evidence). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Available evidence favors clinician discussion of the pros and cons of PSA screening with average-risk men aged 55 to 69 years. Only men who express a definite preference for screening should have PSA testing. Other strategies to mitigate the potential harms of screening include considering biennial screening, a higher PSA threshold for biopsy, and conservative therapy for men receiving a new diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Concepts: Cancer, Randomized controlled trial, Prostate cancer, Screening, Prostate, Overdiagnosis, Prostate-specific antigen, Prostate cancer screening


The diagnostic performance of a genetic score based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) is unknown in the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) range of 1-3 ng/ml. A substantial proportion of men in this PSA span have prostate cancer (PCa), but biomarkers to determine who should undergo a prostate biopsy are lacking.

Concepts: DNA, Bioinformatics, Cancer, Prostate cancer, Radiation therapy, SNP array, Single-nucleotide polymorphism, Prostate-specific antigen