Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

ERSPC Latest Findings Confirm Increased Mortality Benefit from Prostate Cancer Testing

Published: Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Last Updated: Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Extended follow up needed to establish full impact of screening.

The long-running European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) has published its 11-year follow-up results.  These add weight to their original findings by confirming that screening does significantly reduce death from prostate cancer.  Appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study finds that a man who undergoes PSA testing will have his risk of dying from prostate cancer reduced by 29%.

By extending the patient follow-up to an average of 11 years, the study shows that 31% fewer men than previously indicated would need to be diagnosed with cancer to save one life.

As Prof Fritz Schroeder, the international coordinator of the ERSPC study, explained: “Extending the follow up period strengthens the argument for screening.  But it does not decide it.  Even so, the risk reduction trend in our study is promising and it is imperative that we continue the follow-up.   So far, only about 30% of all men in the study have died. If a larger reduction of prostate cancer mortality is seen by further extending the study beyond the current median of 11 years, we can determine with greater certainty whether the benefit of screening outweighs the disadvantages.”

The main downside to screening is over diagnosis ‒ the diagnosis of cancers that do not pose any threat to the patient because they are slow growing or ‘indolent’.  Separate ERSPC findings already confirm that approximately 30% of detected cancers are unlikely to progress and cause a patient’s death.  Even so, the patient has received a diagnosis of cancer and may face the side effects of ‘unnecessary’ treatment.

“Screening programmes for prostate cancer will not be feasible until the medical communities can confidently balance the risk of reducing death from prostate cancer with these unacceptably high levels over diagnosis and overtreatment,” added Prof Schroeder.

ERSPC is the world’s largest prostate cancer screening study and involves eight countries – Belgium, Finland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.  Participants in the randomised study totalled 182,000, of which 162,000 men contribute to the core age group 55 – 69 (on which the 2012 report in NEJM is based).   Men randomized to the group being offered screening were tested using the prostate specific antigen (PSA) marker, every two or four years with an average follow-up of 11 years. The cut-off value for deciding if further investigation was needed was set at a PSA level of 3.0 ng/ml or more.  Men with this reading were then offered a biopsy.

Compared with the USA, individual PSA testing started late in most European countries and meant that only a relatively small number of men taking part in the control arm of the ERSPC study had previously taken a PSA test. This makes the ERSPC study fundamentally different from the US-based Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial where there was a high contamination rate in the control arm with at least 44% of participants already PSA-tested prior to being randomized into the study. The PLCO study has been unable to demonstrate any difference in prostate cancer mortality between the two arms of the study.

Currently, the only way for men with potentially insignificant cancers to avoid what could be unnecessary is to direct them towards an Active Surveillance programme. This offers them regular check-ups while delaying, at least temporarily, invasive treatment.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Genetic Cause of Rare Allergy
Institute has identified a genetic mutation responsible for a rare form of inherited hives induced by vibratory urticaria.
Mitochondria Shown to Trigger Cell Ageing
An international team of scientists has for the first time shown that mitochondria, the batteries of the cells, are essential for ageing.
Cancer Cells Kill Off Healthy Neighbours
Cancer cells create space to grow by killing off surrounding healthy cells, according to UK researchers working with fruit flies.
Validating the Accuracy of CRISPR-Cas9
IBS Researchers create multiplex Digenome-seq to find errors in CRISPR-Cas9 processes.
Cancer Drug Target Visualized at Atomic Resolution
New study using cryo-electron microscopy shows how potential drugs could inhibit cancer.
Genetic Mechanism Behind Cancer-Causing Mutations
Researchers at Indiana University has identified a genetic mechanism that is likely to drive mutations that can lead to cancer.
"Gene Fusion" Drives Childhood Brain Cancers
Study co-led by Penn scientists highlights potential targets for future cancer therapies.
Enzyme Links Age-Related Inflammation, Cancer
Researchers have shown that an enzyme key to regulating gene expression -- and also an oncogene when mutated -- is critical for the expression of numerous inflammatory compounds that have been implicated in age-related increases in cancer and tissue degeneration.
How to Unlock Inaccessible Genes
An international team of biologists has discovered how specialized enzymes remodel the extremely condensed genetic material in the nucleus of cells in order to control which genes can be used.
Viral Gene Editing System Corrects Genetic Liver Disease
Penn study has implications for developing safe therapies for an array of rare diseases via new gene cut-and-paste methods.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!