New Personalized Medical Program Enhances Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

New Personalized Medical Program Enhances Prostate Cancer Diagnosis
Researchers from Vienna General Hospital and the Comprehensive Cancer Center at MedUni Vienna reported on a new program based on personalized medicine methods for prostate cancer diagnosis. In Austria, approximately 4,700 men develop prostate cancer every year and during this time frame approximately 1,146 succumb to the disease. The diagnosis of prostate cancer can be made through the analysis of blood for the prostate-specific antigen (PSA); this PSA test, however, is not completely reliable. “Although the PSA is not an ideal marker, it is still the best diagnostic bio-marker across the whole of oncology. At a younger age, i.e., around 40 - 45 years, it is very useful in terms of predicting the risk of prostate cancer. The data also confirms this. Since the PSA screening test was introduced, deaths from prostate cancer have fallen by 40 percent. So the question isn't about whether PSA screening should be carried out or not. It's more about doing it cleverly,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Shahrokh Shariat in a news release. The PSA test fails on reliability because a high PSA level does not necessarily indicate an increased risk for developing prostate cancer. Currently, if PSA levels are high, the patient is subjected to aggressive therapy, which can result in side effects like erectile dysfunction or incontinence. To avoid this “overtherapy," the team developed a program comprising methods of personalized medicine, meaning the customization of the healthcare system (treatment, decision-making, etc.) focused on the individual patient. To avoid unnecessary therapy while still controlling eventual tumor development, the program established that a patient who is young in age or who has slightly raised PSA levels should only be actively monitor
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