03 June 2010

Tracking PSA Test Results Over Time Gives Clues to Cancer

Method may help doctors spot aggressive prostate tumors, researchers say


This article has not necessarily been edited by Health24.

TUESDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors could do a better job of assessing the severity of prostate cancer by analyzing changes in prostate-specific antigen(PSA) blood tests over time, a new study suggests.

Researchers from Innsbruck, Austria, report that the rate of increase in PSA, based on a factor known as velocity, can strongly predict whether a man has a high-risk form of cancer.

The researchers came to their conclusions after studying the PSA results in 426 patients who underwent prostatectomy, the removal of part or all of the prostate, and had undergone four years of PSA tests.

"Monitoring PSA velocity over time gives us valuable information that can help us better assess which tumors are slow-growing and which ones may kill," said Dr. William J. Catalona, who is moderating a briefing on the findings slated for Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in San Francisco.

"Further analysis of these changes improves the specificity of the PSA test and can help us better decide when biopsy and active treatment might be necessary. It helps make PSA a smarter test."

More information

For more on prostate cancer, see the U.S. National Library of Medicine.


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Cancer expert

CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst and Head of Advocacy Magdalene Seguin. For more information, visit

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules