The world's largest study of prostate cancer, published in the «Journal of the American Medical Association», found that the conduct of PSA test to detect prostate cancer does not save lives.
Scientists from Bristol and Oxford University have found that testing of asymptomatic men for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test can reveal the disease, which rarely cause any harm, but skip aggressive and lethal malignancies of the prostate gland. It highlights the shortcomings of a single PSA test and indicates the need for more accurate ways to diagnose cancer.
CAP study, which was attended by more than 400 000 men aged 50-69 years, is the biggest challenge, which has been studied prostate cancer screening. CAP participants were divided into two groups: 189 386 men, who were asked to test for PSA, and 219 439 men, do not pass the screening.
Median follow-up of participants was 10 years. Scientists have identified 8054 (4.3%) cases of prostate cancer screening in the group and 7 853 (3.6%) in the control group. The researchers recorded the same percentage of men (0.29%) died from prostate cancer in the two groups.
Every year in the UK 11,000 men die from the disease. In that time, some prostate tumors are aggressive and deadly, others do not have clinical significance and never hurt and will not lead to the death of the patient if left undetected. Ideally, aggressive prostate cancer need to be identified and begin treatment as soon as possible. But detection of malignant tumors that can not harm the patient, can seriously affect the quality of life and increase its anxiety and lead to infection after biopsy, impotence and incontinence after treatment.
"We found that the conduct of a test for PSA in men without symptoms of cancer of the prostate does not save lives over the next 10 years. The results of the work highlighted many of the problems associated with the PSA test. With funding from Cancer Research UK Center we will continue monitoring the men for another five years. This will help to identify whether there are long-term benefits of screening to reduce mortality from prostate cancer "- the researchers reported.
The researchers expressed the need to develop a more accurate tools that will detect life-threatening prostate cancer.