Association of Baseline Prostate-Specific Antigen Level With Long-term Diagnosis of Clinically Significant Prostate Cancer Among Patients Aged 55 to 60 Years: A Secondary Analysis of a Cohort in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial


Evan Kovac 1 2, Sigrid V Carlsson 3 4 5, Hans Lilja 4 6 7 8 9, Jonas Hugosson 5, Michael W Kattan 10, Erik Holmberg 11, Andrew J Stephenson 12

Main idea: In this secondary analysis of a cohort from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial, baseline PSA levels among men aged 55 to 60 years were associated with long-term risk of clinically significant prostate cancer. These findings suggest that repeated screening can be less frequent among men aged 55 to 60 years with a low baseline PSA level (ie, <2.00 ng/mL) and possibly discontinued among those with baseline PSA levels of less than 1.00 ng/mL.


Importance: The use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer is controversial because of the risk of overdiagnosis and overtreatment of indolent cancers. Optimal screening strategies are highly sought.

Objective: To estimate the long-term risk of any prostate cancer and clinically significant prostate cancer based on baseline PSA levels among men aged 55 to 60 years.

Results: There were 10 968 men aged 55 to 60 years (median [interquartile range] age, 57 [55-58] years) at study enrollment in the screening group of the PLCO Cancer Screening Trial who had long-term follow-up. Actuarial 13-year incidences of clinically significant prostate cancer diagnosis among participants with a baseline PSA of 0.49 ng/mL or less was 0.4% (95% CI, 0%-0.8%); 0.50-0.99 ng/mL, 1.5% (95% CI, 1.1%-1.9%); 1.00-1.99 ng/mL, 5.4% (95% CI, 4.4%-6.4%); 2.00-2.99 ng/mL, 10.6% (95% CI, 8.3%-12.9%); 3.00-3.99 ng/mL, 15.3% (95% CI, 11.4%-19.2%); and 4.00 ng/mL and greater, 29.5% (95% CI, 24.2%-34.8%) (all pairwise log-rank P ≤ .004). Only 15 prostate cancer-specific deaths occurred during 13 years of follow-up, and 9 (60.0%) were among men with a baseline PSA level of 2.00 ng/mL or higher.


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