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Keywords:

  • age;
  • mortality;
  • prostate cancer;
  • prostate-specific antigen velocity;
  • risk

Study Type – Prognostic (cohort) Level of Evidence 2b

What’s known on the subject? and What does the study add?

Currently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against PSA screening for prostate cancer in men aged ≥75 years as it concluded that “the harm of screening for prostate cancer in men age ≥75 years may outweigh the potential benefits”. Our findings suggest that elderly men with a PSA velocity of ≥0.45 ng/ml/year have higher risk of death from prostate cancer. Continuing PSA testing may be beneficial for these men.

OBJECTIVE

• To evaluate weather prostate-specific antigen (PSA) velocity could be used to stratify patients at risk of death from prostate cancer (PCa) and be useful in aiding decision making regarding PSA screening in elderly men, as previous studies have shown that PSA velocity can predict PCa risk.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

• The cohort included 3,525 patients aged ≥ 75 years with two or more PSA tests before a diagnosis of PCa. Cox proportional hazard model was used to evaluate which variables at time of last PSA measurement were associated with death from PCa.

• The rates of death from PCa after diagnosis in different PSA velocity groups were calculated. Kaplan-Meier and log rank test were used to assess the significant difference in death from PCa after diagnosis, stratified by PSA velocity cutoff.

RESULTS

• On multivariate analysis, men with a PSA velocity of PSA velocity ≥0.45 ng/mL/year had a 4.8-fold higher risk of death from PCa as compared to men with a PSA velocity of <0.45 ng/mL/year (p value = 0.013). After a median 6.5 (up to 16.9) years of follow-up from diagnosis, 1.4% of the men with a PSA velocity <0.45 ng/mL/year had died of PCa as compared to 8.7% of those with a PSA velocity ≥0.45 ng/mL/year.

• The cumulative rate of death from PCa after diagnosis, stratified by a PSA velocity of 0.45 ng/mL/year, was statistically different (log rank test, P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION

• Men age ≥ 75 years old with a PSA velocity of <0.45 ng/mL/year are unlikely to die of PCa. It may be safe to discontinue PSA screening in these men.