MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Prostate cancer is an extremely common condition in men. Many die from it each year, and many others live with debilitating pain caused by prostate cancer. Screening for prostate cancer with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing can be effective, but there are concerns with the test.
- First, screening everyone gives a large proportion of false-positive results, and those men end up undergoing unnecessary procedures such as prostate biopsy. S
- econd, a significant portion of men who develop prostate cancer will develop a slow-growing form of the disease that is likely not life-threatening and may not require treatment.
These concerns have led to a drop in prostate cancer screening. But avoiding screening leaves a large number of men vulnerable to diagnosis of an aggressive prostate cancer at a later stage, when it is more difficult—or impossible—to be cured. Doctors are left to guess which of their patients are at risk of aggressive disease and at which age they need to start screening those patients.
Our study sought to develop a tool to provide men and their doctors with objective, personalized information about each man’s risk of prostate cancer. Based on the man’s genetics, we wanted to predict the risk of aggressive prostate cancer and at what age in his life that risk becomes elevated.