In the prostate cancer field, there has been a push to move beyond PSA testing. With urine tests, it may be possible to avoid biopsies for men with suspected prostate cancer.
Martin Sanda, MD is chair of urology and leads Winship’s prostate cancer program
With PSA testing to guide decisions, only one in five men is found via biopsy to have a cancer that is sufficiently aggressive (Gleason score of 7 or higher) to warrant treatment right away.
A recently published paper in JAMA Oncology from urologist Martin Sanda and colleagues in the NCI’s Early Detection Research Network shows the potential of urine testing. Sanda’s team reports that two prostate cancer RNA biomarkers detectable in urine (PCA3 and T2:ERG) could be combined to enhance their discriminatory power and reduce unnecessary biopsies by almost half.
The National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Currents blog has an extensive discussion of the JAMA Oncology paper. Read more
The PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test has been criticized for years for driving men to seek biopsies and then definitive treatment for slow-growing cancers that may not pose a danger.
At the recent AUA meeting in New Orleans, urologist Martin Sanda presented results from research on tests that could allow the urology field to move beyond the PSA test as it is now. Winship magazine’s cover story has more on this topic.
Martin Sanda, MD is director of Winship Cancer Institute’s Prostate Cancer Program and chair of urology at Emory University School of Medicine
Right now, only about a sixth of men who have a biopsy based on the results of a PSA test have something that doctors agree should be called a cancer (a tumor with a Gleason score of seven or higher). A Male Urologist should be able to analyze the results and recommend appropriate treatment.
Sanda described studies on a urine test that could double that specificity, possibly eliminating unnecessary biopsies for many men. Read more