Objectives. The determination of the percentage of free prostate-specific antigen (%fPSA) enhances the specificity of prostate cancer (CaP) detection. This study was undertaken to assess the performance of %fPSA in differentiating benign prostate disease from CaP and to determine the CaP probability estimates using the AxSYM Free PSA and AxSYM Total PSA assays. Methods. In this prospective study, 297 men, 50 years old or older, with a total PSA level between 4 and 10 ng/mL and a nonsuspicious digital rectal examination were enrolled at 10 clinical sites. All subjects underwent at least sextant prostate biopsies to establish the diagnosis. fPSA and total PSA (tPSA) levels were determined using the AxSYM Free PSA and AxSYM Total PSA assays. Percent fPSA values were compared with tPSA values to determine the appropriate cutoffs for prostate biopsy and to calculate the CaP probability estimates. Results. The strongest predictor of CaP in a logistic regression model was %fPSA (odds ratio 2.29), which contributed significantly more than age or tPSA to the predictive model. In this study population, a %fPSA cutoff of 26.4% would have detected 96% of subjects with CaP (sensitivity) and would have eliminated 27.4% of unnecessary biopsies (specificity). CaP probability estimates ranged from 9% to 69% and increased as the %fPSA value decreased. Men with a %fPSA level of 10% or lower had a 69% probability of CaP, and men with a %fPSA level of greater than 26% had a 9% probability of CaP. Conclusions. Percent fPSA values can help differentiate CaP from benign prostate disease and reduce unnecessary biopsies in 27% of men 50 years old or older whose digital rectal examination was normal and whose tPSA level was between 4 and 10 ng/mL. A %fPSA result can assist the physician and patient in determining the probability of CaP and assessing the need for prostate biopsy. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
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