Lowering the PSA threshold for prostate biopsy from 4 to 2.5 ng/ml: Influence on cancer characteristics and number of men needed to biopt

Michael Müntener, Urs Kunz, Klaus Eichler, Milo Puhan, Daniel M. Schmid, Tullio Sulser, Räto T. Strebel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: In 1999 we lowered the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) threshold for prostate biopsy at our institution from 4 to 2.5 ng/ml. The aim of this study was to compare the differences in tumor characteristics of the detected prostate cancers (PCAs) and the detection rate for the two different PSA thresholds and to evaluate if lowering the threshold was justified by any of the detected differences. Patients and Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the records of all patients who underwent an 8-core prostate biopsy between January 1999 and December 2004 and had a PSA between 2.5 and 10 ng/ml. Patients with a PSA between 2.5 and 4 ng/ml (group 1, n = 214, mean age 62.0 years) were compared to patients whose PSA was between 4 and 10 ng/ml (group 2, n = 292, mean age 63.2 years). Patients who were older than 75 years or had a suspicious rectal examination were excluded from this study. Results: Overall, we detected 120 can-cers in 506 patients (cancer yield 23.7%). The cancer yield in group 1 was significantly lower than in group 2 (17 vs. 28%, p <0.01). In group 1 significantly less Gleason score ≥7 (p = 0.04) and significantly more potentially insignificant cancers (p = 0.03) were identified. In 80 patients who subsequently underwent radical prostatectomy, final pathology revealed no significant differences between the two PSA groups with regard to high pT stages, Gleason score ≥7 PCA or positive surgical margins, respectively. The difference in the absolute risk of being diagnosed with high-grade PCA between a PSA threshold of 2.5 ng/ml and a PSA threshold of 4 ng/ml was 1%. Conclusion: Lowering the PSA threshold for prostate biopsy from 4 to 2.5 ng/ml results in a substantial increase in the number of men who undergo biopsy and may result in an increased detection of potentially insignificant cancers. If total PSA alone is used to determine the need for prostate biopsy, the disadvantages of this lower threshold probably outweigh its potential benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-146
Number of pages6
JournalUrologia Internationalis
Volume84
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Prostate-Specific Antigen
Prostate
Biopsy
Neoplasms
Prostatic Neoplasms
Neoplasm Grading
Prostatectomy
Pathology

Keywords

  • Prostate biopsy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostate-specific antigen
  • Prostate-specific antigen threshold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

Cite this

Lowering the PSA threshold for prostate biopsy from 4 to 2.5 ng/ml : Influence on cancer characteristics and number of men needed to biopt. / Müntener, Michael; Kunz, Urs; Eichler, Klaus; Puhan, Milo; Schmid, Daniel M.; Sulser, Tullio; Strebel, Räto T.

In: Urologia Internationalis, Vol. 84, No. 2, 03.2010, p. 141-146.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Müntener, Michael ; Kunz, Urs ; Eichler, Klaus ; Puhan, Milo ; Schmid, Daniel M. ; Sulser, Tullio ; Strebel, Räto T. / Lowering the PSA threshold for prostate biopsy from 4 to 2.5 ng/ml : Influence on cancer characteristics and number of men needed to biopt. In: Urologia Internationalis. 2010 ; Vol. 84, No. 2. pp. 141-146.
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abstract = "Objective: In 1999 we lowered the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) threshold for prostate biopsy at our institution from 4 to 2.5 ng/ml. The aim of this study was to compare the differences in tumor characteristics of the detected prostate cancers (PCAs) and the detection rate for the two different PSA thresholds and to evaluate if lowering the threshold was justified by any of the detected differences. Patients and Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the records of all patients who underwent an 8-core prostate biopsy between January 1999 and December 2004 and had a PSA between 2.5 and 10 ng/ml. Patients with a PSA between 2.5 and 4 ng/ml (group 1, n = 214, mean age 62.0 years) were compared to patients whose PSA was between 4 and 10 ng/ml (group 2, n = 292, mean age 63.2 years). Patients who were older than 75 years or had a suspicious rectal examination were excluded from this study. Results: Overall, we detected 120 can-cers in 506 patients (cancer yield 23.7{\%}). The cancer yield in group 1 was significantly lower than in group 2 (17 vs. 28{\%}, p <0.01). In group 1 significantly less Gleason score ≥7 (p = 0.04) and significantly more potentially insignificant cancers (p = 0.03) were identified. In 80 patients who subsequently underwent radical prostatectomy, final pathology revealed no significant differences between the two PSA groups with regard to high pT stages, Gleason score ≥7 PCA or positive surgical margins, respectively. The difference in the absolute risk of being diagnosed with high-grade PCA between a PSA threshold of 2.5 ng/ml and a PSA threshold of 4 ng/ml was 1{\%}. Conclusion: Lowering the PSA threshold for prostate biopsy from 4 to 2.5 ng/ml results in a substantial increase in the number of men who undergo biopsy and may result in an increased detection of potentially insignificant cancers. If total PSA alone is used to determine the need for prostate biopsy, the disadvantages of this lower threshold probably outweigh its potential benefits.",
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AU - Eichler, Klaus

AU - Puhan, Milo

AU - Schmid, Daniel M.

AU - Sulser, Tullio

AU - Strebel, Räto T.

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N2 - Objective: In 1999 we lowered the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) threshold for prostate biopsy at our institution from 4 to 2.5 ng/ml. The aim of this study was to compare the differences in tumor characteristics of the detected prostate cancers (PCAs) and the detection rate for the two different PSA thresholds and to evaluate if lowering the threshold was justified by any of the detected differences. Patients and Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the records of all patients who underwent an 8-core prostate biopsy between January 1999 and December 2004 and had a PSA between 2.5 and 10 ng/ml. Patients with a PSA between 2.5 and 4 ng/ml (group 1, n = 214, mean age 62.0 years) were compared to patients whose PSA was between 4 and 10 ng/ml (group 2, n = 292, mean age 63.2 years). Patients who were older than 75 years or had a suspicious rectal examination were excluded from this study. Results: Overall, we detected 120 can-cers in 506 patients (cancer yield 23.7%). The cancer yield in group 1 was significantly lower than in group 2 (17 vs. 28%, p <0.01). In group 1 significantly less Gleason score ≥7 (p = 0.04) and significantly more potentially insignificant cancers (p = 0.03) were identified. In 80 patients who subsequently underwent radical prostatectomy, final pathology revealed no significant differences between the two PSA groups with regard to high pT stages, Gleason score ≥7 PCA or positive surgical margins, respectively. The difference in the absolute risk of being diagnosed with high-grade PCA between a PSA threshold of 2.5 ng/ml and a PSA threshold of 4 ng/ml was 1%. Conclusion: Lowering the PSA threshold for prostate biopsy from 4 to 2.5 ng/ml results in a substantial increase in the number of men who undergo biopsy and may result in an increased detection of potentially insignificant cancers. If total PSA alone is used to determine the need for prostate biopsy, the disadvantages of this lower threshold probably outweigh its potential benefits.

AB - Objective: In 1999 we lowered the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) threshold for prostate biopsy at our institution from 4 to 2.5 ng/ml. The aim of this study was to compare the differences in tumor characteristics of the detected prostate cancers (PCAs) and the detection rate for the two different PSA thresholds and to evaluate if lowering the threshold was justified by any of the detected differences. Patients and Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the records of all patients who underwent an 8-core prostate biopsy between January 1999 and December 2004 and had a PSA between 2.5 and 10 ng/ml. Patients with a PSA between 2.5 and 4 ng/ml (group 1, n = 214, mean age 62.0 years) were compared to patients whose PSA was between 4 and 10 ng/ml (group 2, n = 292, mean age 63.2 years). Patients who were older than 75 years or had a suspicious rectal examination were excluded from this study. Results: Overall, we detected 120 can-cers in 506 patients (cancer yield 23.7%). The cancer yield in group 1 was significantly lower than in group 2 (17 vs. 28%, p <0.01). In group 1 significantly less Gleason score ≥7 (p = 0.04) and significantly more potentially insignificant cancers (p = 0.03) were identified. In 80 patients who subsequently underwent radical prostatectomy, final pathology revealed no significant differences between the two PSA groups with regard to high pT stages, Gleason score ≥7 PCA or positive surgical margins, respectively. The difference in the absolute risk of being diagnosed with high-grade PCA between a PSA threshold of 2.5 ng/ml and a PSA threshold of 4 ng/ml was 1%. Conclusion: Lowering the PSA threshold for prostate biopsy from 4 to 2.5 ng/ml results in a substantial increase in the number of men who undergo biopsy and may result in an increased detection of potentially insignificant cancers. If total PSA alone is used to determine the need for prostate biopsy, the disadvantages of this lower threshold probably outweigh its potential benefits.

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KW - Prostate cancer

KW - Prostate-specific antigen

KW - Prostate-specific antigen threshold

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