May 15, 2008 Premalignant phases of prostate cancer occur over long periods of time and a single prostate-specific antigen (PSA) reading taken at age 44-50 can help predict prostate cancer diagnosis up to 30 years subsequently, according to updated data from researchers in New York and Malmo, Sweden.
The findings expand the previously established baseline age-to-diagnosis interval.
Using data from a cohort of men under 50 who submitted blood samples for a cardiovascular study during 1974-1986, researchers examined records and found a greater delay in diagnosis for men who were younger at the time of the blood draw and baseline reading.
Men in the original cohort had a mean age of 47 at the time of the blood draw. In this update, the mean age was 45.
The relationship between PSA and advanced cancer was stronger in this update than the original report.
Findings suggest possible prolonged periods of prostate cancer pre-malignancy and that extracellular PSA affects cancer development, or carcinogenesis. The study also reaffirms the relationship between the carcinogenic process and PSA.
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- Lilja H, Cronin AM, Scardino PT, Dahlin A, Bjartel A, Berglund G et al: A single PSA predicts prostate cancer up to 30 years subsequently, even in men below age 40. J Urol, suppl., 2008; 179: 206, abstract 589. [link]
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