Our Research: Dynamic Analysis of PSA Trends
Our new research on Dynamic Analysis of PSA trends and prostate volume are important parts of the Prostate Smart solution to screening.
The Prostate Smart solution: PSA trend analysis and volume measurements
Tracking how fast a man’s PSA level increases over time is a key part of the next generation of smart screening. A smooth, rapid increase in PSA above a no-cancer baseline level suggests that cancer may be progressing. A smooth increase in PSA level indicates the presence of cancer, while an irregular pattern may indicate other conditions. As PSA growth rate increases, the likelihood of deadly cancer increases. Personal analysis of a man’s PSA trend, a prostate volume measurement, and other information has the potential to reduce both the risk of prostate cancer death and unwanted effects of overtreatment.
PSA trends can help predict deadly cancer prior to diagnosis. Our new results based on the large population database of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) were presented May 19th at the American Urological Association annual meeting in Orlando. Our results answer the call of the US Preventative Services Task Force to develop new methods for identifying deadly cancers and may help justify PSA-based screening methods.
Longer monitoring of PSA trends can help reduce unwarranted biopsies that lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Our new results based on VA "big data" were presented May 19th at the American Urological Association Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. Our results answer the call of the US Preventative Services Task Force to develop new methods for identifying deadly cancers and may help justify PSA-based screening methods.
Personal PSA thresholds are a key part of smart screening. A prostate volume measurement can adjust the PSA threshold that triggers biopsy: lower PSA thresholds for early effective treatment for men with small to normal prostate volumes and higher PSA thresholds to avoid overdiagnosis in men with larger prostates.
For decades, doctors at Johns Hopkins University, the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and other medical centers suspected that PSA trends offered valuable information about cancer progression. Our data soon revealed that men who died of prostate cancer exhibited smooth, often rapid exponential growth in PSA levels above a no-cancer baseline prior to diagnosis by biopsy. We developed sophisticated mathematically-based procedures to improve the analysis of PSA screening results and clinical decision-making processes.
Long-term data from very large populations were required to prove the power of smart screening using PSA growth trends. Over 4 years, our research team worked with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to analyze 33 million PSA tests for 14 million men in the national VA database. Compelling early results were selected by the American Urological Association (AUA) for presentation at the AUA annual meeting in May of 2014, with special media recognition for one of these presentations.
The power of our VA results has attracted the interest of other world-class researchers, many of whom have access to new data sources. For example, we have collaborated with four of the seven top hospital urology departments as ranked by the U.S.News & World Report. With supporting results from new data and our collaborators, we are generating a series of articles for major medical journals. We believe these articles and the increasing confidence of our world-class collaborators will lead to a shift in the current method of PSA screening analysis.
Medical breakthroughs typically take years or decades to become widely available after discovery. Our Prostate Smart team is committed to making smart prostate cancer screening available to you and your doctor as soon as possible. We will review, analyze, and explain your testing results, leaving you and your doctor free to use your results in support of your screening decisions.