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Keywords:

  • PSA;
  • biological markers;
  • prostatic neoplasms;
  • prostatic hyperplasia;
  • MRI

OBJECTIVE

To investigate the validity of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) as a tumour marker in men with clinically localized prostate cancer who have selected watchful waiting, by determining if serial PSA level measurements are correlated with findings of malignancy or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) at serial endorectal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI).

PATIENTS AND METHODS

We retrospectively identified 69 men with biopsy-proven prostate cancer being managed by watchful waiting, who underwent serial endorectal MRI/MRSI and who had contemporaneous serial PSA measurements. The mean (range) follow-up was 392 (294–571) days. A panel of three experienced readers reviewed the initial and follow-up MRI/MRSI studies, and classified findings of prostate cancer as stable or progressive. Another reader assessed BPH by calculating total gland and central gland volumes on all studies.

RESULTS

At the follow-up MRI/MRSI, 51, 17 and one patient had stable, progressive, or unevaluable prostate cancer, respectively. The mean PSA velocity was significantly greater in patients with radiologically progressive disease (1.42 vs 0.42 ng/mL/year, P = 0.04). A PSA velocity of >0.75 ng/mL/year identified those with radiologically progressive disease with a true-positive fraction of 0.71 and a false-positive fraction of 0.39. PSA levels were not correlated with changes in total or central gland volumes (P > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

In men with clinically localized prostate cancer who select watchful waiting, serial PSA levels are correlated with findings of malignancy but not BPH at serial endorectal MRI/MRSI, suggesting that PSA is a useful longitudinal tumour marker in this population.