Newer PSA Test Reportedly Would Prevent 40 Percent of Biopsies

A new blood test aims for better detection of prostate cancer, but some say it’s not the breakthrough we’ve been hoping for.

Researchers continue to try to improve upon the blood test used to screen for prostate cancer— the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. A new test claims to help physicians get more accuracy and avoid unnecessary biopsies.

The PSA test measures a protein that comes from cancerous and noncancerous tissue in the prostate gland. While the test detects PSA, it doesn’t offer more information about the condition of the prostate and other factors that can help doctors prevent overtreating the disease. As a result, many patients with high PSA levels have gone through unnecessary diagnostic procedures and treatments in the past.

A new blood test, the IsoPSA, showed promise in trials to more accurately diagnose prostate cancer. It can help physicians discern if they should noninvasively monitor the disease or go forward with cancer treatment. Details on the test were presented at the recent American Urological Association (AUA) conference in San Francisco.

According to study authors, the IsoPSA can result in about 40 percent fewer biopsies.

In fact, 45 percent of biopsies would have been avoided according to the preliminary study. In a second validation study, the researchers found up to 47 percent of biopsies could have been thwarted.

July 16, 2018

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