Purpose: Percent free prostate specific antigen (PSA) is useful to select patients for prostate biopsy with total PSA 4 to 10 ng./ml. However, 20% of men with PSA between 2.6 and 4 ng./ml. harbor significant prostate cancer and percent free PSA has been suggested to aid in the decision to biopsy in this total PSA range as well. Concerns exist that the number of biopsies needed to detect 1 cancer in this range may be inappropriately high. In a prospective referral population we evaluated sensitivity and specificity of various percent free PSA cutoffs and determined the biopsy-per-cancer ratio in the PSA 2 to 4 ng./ml. range in men with a benign digital rectal examination, and report on the biological nature of the detected cancers based on Gleason score. Results were compared to those obtained from a reference group of patients (PSA 4 to 10 ng./ml. benign digital rectal examination) from the same prospective referral cohort. Materials and Methods: Total PSA and free PSA were measured and percent free PSA was calculated. Of the initial 1,602 men 756 had a benign digital rectal examination and PSA 4 to 10 ng./ml. and 219 had a benign digital rectal examination and PSA 2 to 4 ng./ml. Sensitivity, specificity, the number of true positive (evidence of cancer) and false-positive (no evidence of cancer) biopsies were determined. The ratio of true positive biopsies-to-all biopsies performed was used to determine the biopsy-per-cancer ratio. Gleason score of the detected cancers was evaluated. The procedure was repeated for the PSA 4 to 10 ng./ml. range. Results: In the PSA 4 to 10 ng./ml. range a sensitivity of 63.7% to 92.5% with a specificity of 57.5% to 18.7% was found when percent free PSA was 18% to 25%. On average 3 biopsies were needed to detect 1 cancer. When PSA was 2 to 4 ng./ml. sensitivity was 46.3% to 75.6% and specificity was 73.6% to 37.6% when the same percent free PSA cutoff was examined. Calculation of the biopsy-per-cancer ratio for various percent free PSA cutoffs revealed that 3 to 5 biopsies were needed to find 1 cancer. Of 41 cancers detected in the PSA 2 to 4 ng./ml. range 6 had a Gleason score 5. The majority (28 of 41) of cases had a Gleason score of 6. Gleason score was 7 in 5 patients and 8 in 1. Conclusions: In the PSA 4 to 10 ng./ml. range high sensitivity for prostate cancer detection is critical and 3 biopsies are needed to detect 1 cancer. In the PSA 2 to 4 ng./ml. range a percent free PSA cutoff of 18% to 20% detected about 50% of cancers while sparing up to 73% of unnecessary biopsies with a biopsy-to-cancer ratio of 3 to 4:1. Percent free PSA can be applied to the PSA 2 to 4 ng./ml. range to detect prostate cancer and only moderately increases the number of biopsies needed to detect 1 significant cancer compared to the greater than 4 to 10 ng./ml. range.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Urology|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|
- Prostate-specific antigen
- Prostatic neoplasms
ASJC Scopus subject areas