Auvinen A, Rietbergen JB, Denis LJ, Schroder FH, Prorok PCProspective evaluation plan for randomised trials of prostate cancer screening. The International Prostate Cancer Screening Trial Evaluation Group. J Med Screen 3: 97-104
Finnish Centre for Radiation and Nuclear Safety, Helsinki, Finland. Journal of Medical Screening
(Impact Factor: 3.1).
To enable pooled analyses of continuing and planned randomised trials of prostate cancer screening, guidelines for minimal data required for such analyses were developed in the recent meeting of the International Prostate Screening Trial Evaluation Group (IPSTEG). The aim of the pooled analysis with data on individual level will be: (a) Estimation of the effect of screening on prostate cancer mortality with greater precision than individual studies (b) Assessment of optimal screening procedures and interval (c) Identification of subgroups within the populations that might receive most benefit from screening (d) Evaluation of the quality of life effects and cost effectiveness of screening. All studies included in the combined analysis share a common core protocol with minimum data requirements. The protocol allows, however, adaptation of the procedures to local circumstances within defined options. It should be noted that the process is continuing and the protocol is subject to evaluation and revision in the meetings of the IPSTEG on a regular basis.
Available from: Monique J Roobol
- "The PLCO trial was also initiated in 1993 and has included approximately 74,000 men, randomized to the prostate arm of the trial. Conditions for a possible common analysis of ERSPC and PLCO trial have been discussed . The ongoing randomized trials will not produce results for several years . "
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ABSTRACT: ObjectivesOngoing randomized controlled screening trials for prostate cancer have not shown a beneficial effect on prostate cancer mortality reduction yet. A large number of observational (non-randomized) studies on prostate cancer screening have been published with contradictory outcome. This paper reviews the current case-control studies.MethodsSeven case-control studies of screening for prostate cancer were identified in a PubMed search, published from 1991 onwards, all conducted in North America. The screening test was either digital rectal examination (DRE) alone or in combination with PSA.ResultsOne DRE case-control study, found a significant preventive effect, whereas two others showed no effect of DRE screening on prostate cancer mortality nor on the occurrence of metastatic disease. Conflicting results were also observed in the studies assessing the effect of PSA/DRE. Only one study showed a significant 27% mortality reduction in the White male cohort, but found no effects in Blacks. The most recent study showed that screening with PSA/DRE was not protective in reducing prostate cancer mortality.ConclusionsOur review of the case-control studies does not indicate a benefit of prostate cancer screening. An answer has to come from the ERSPC trial, in Europe, and the PLCO trial, in the US, of which the outcomes are expected in 2007–2010.
Available from: Ulf-Håkan Stenman
- "However, mass screening for prostate cancer is not practiced as a public health policy anywhere in the world. Ongoing controlled screening studies  are expected to show whether screening is effective and medically justifiable. PSA is the landmark marker for the management of prostate cancer in the diagnosis, staging and follow-up of the disease. "
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ABSTRACT: The incidence of prostate cancer has increased dramatically during the last 10-15 years and it is now the commonest cancer in males in developed countries. The increase is mainly caused by the increasing use of opportunistic screening or case-finding based on the use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing in serum. With this approach, prostate cancer is detected 5-10 years before giving rise to symptoms and on average 17 years before causing the death of the patient. While this has led to detection of prostate cancer at a potentially curable stage, it has also led to substantial overdiagnosis, i.e. detection of cancers that would not surface clinically in the absence of screening. A major challenge is thus to identify the cases that need to be treated while avoiding diagnosing patients who will not benefit from being diagnosed and who will only suffer from the stigma of being a cancer patient. It would be useful to have prognostic markers that could predict which patients need to be diagnosed and which do not. Ideally, it should be possible to measure these markers using non-invasive techniques, i.e. by means of serum or urine tests. As it is very useful for both early diagnosis and monitoring of prostate cancer, PSA is considered the most valuable marker available for any tumor. Although the prognostic value of PSA is limited, measurement of the proportion of free PSA has improved the identification of patients with aggressive disease. Furthermore, the rate of increase in serum PSA reflects tumor growth rate and prognosis but, due to substantial physiological variation in serum PSA, reliable estimation of the rate of PSA increase requires follow-up for at least 2 years. Algorithms based on the combined use of free and total PSA and prostate volume in logistic regression and neural networks can improve the diagnostic accuracy for prostate cancer, and assays for minor subfractions of PSA and other new markers may provide additional prognostic information. Markers of neuroendocrine differentiation are useful for the monitoring of androgen-independent disease and various bone markers are useful in patients with metastatic disease.
Available from: helsinki.fi
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