Cancer Screening That Reduces Deaths By a Fifth is Not Recommend At This Time
London, UK - Screening for prostate cancer could reduce deaths from the disease by about a fifth, according to the long-term results of a major European study involving over 162 000 men published in The Lancet.
Despite this new evidence for the effectiveness of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing to reduce mortality, doubts as to whether the benefits of screening outweigh the harms remain, and routine PSA screening programmes should not be introduced at this time, conclude the authors.
The European Randomised study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) began in 1993 to determine whether screening men for PSA reduces deaths from prostate cancer. It recruited men between the ages of 50 and 74 years from eight countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland) who were randomised to receive either PSA screening every 4 years (2 years in Sweden), or no intervention (control group). Men were referred for biopsy if their PSA concentration was higher than 3·0 ng/ml.
Results showed that screening appeared to reduce prostate cancer deaths by 15% at 9 years, and this improved to 22% at 11 years. Over 13 years follow-up, there was no further improvement in the relative reduction in prostate cancer deaths which decreased by roughly a fifth (21%) in the screening group compared with the control group, although men who were actually screened had a 27% lower chance of dying of prostate cancer. Continue>
Posted in: News Briefs | November 14, 2013