Prostate Health Index Test Reduces Unnecessary Biopsies in Men Suspected of Cancer, Study Shows

Prostate Health Index Test Reduces Unnecessary Biopsies in Men Suspected of Cancer, Study Shows
Using the Prostate Health Index test to help diagnose prostate cancer significantly reduces unnecessary and expensive biopsies, a study reports. Beckman Coulter came up with the tool for patients whose digital rectal exam yields nothing suspicious but who have high levels of PSA. Elevated levels of that protein are the main biomarker of the disease. U.S. regulators approved the index as a diagnostic tool in 2012. Researchers published their study in the journal Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. The article was titled "Clinical Utility of the Prostate Health Index (phi) for Biopsy Decision Management in a Large Group Urology Practice Setting.” The Prostate Health Index is based on the results of three blood tests — total PSA, free PSA, and a PSA precursor known as p2PSA. The combined test scores give doctors an idea of whether a man is likely to have prostate cancer. While the scores do a much better job of detecting prostate cancer than total PSA or free PSA scores alone, little has been known about whether the index was reducing prostate cancer biopsies. In the first part of the study, Dr. Jay White of Carolina Urology Partners and colleagues asked urologists to take a two-part questionnaire. It dealt with whether the doctors were using Prostate Health Index scores in their biopsy decisions or just to help monitor patients. The second part of the study looked at 683 biopsy decisions that doctors made before the index came along, versus 506 biopsy decisions after the index appeared. Signs that
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