Lancaster University

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Predicting higher risk for prostate cancer

05/31/2009 23:23:38

Cells which look abnormal but are not designated precancerous could help predict a future diagnosis of prostate cancer, according to new research.

These abnormal yet non-cancerous cells – known as high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) - carry a high predictive value for future diagnosis of prostate cancer.

The research published in the open access journal BMC Urology has shown that 41.8% of patients whose extended core biopsy led to an initial diagnosis of HGPIN were subsequently diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Dr Frank Martin a senior lecturer from the University’s Lancaster Environment Centre , and Paras Singh, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, along with their co-workers, conducted a retrospective analysis of the trust’s pathology database, investigating the occurrence of prostate cancer in patients initially diagnosed with HGPIN.

They also calculated the risk of developing prostate cancer based on initial levels of prostate serum antigen (PSA), currently used as a diagnostic marker for prostate cancer.

Of 2,192 biopsied patients, there were 88 cases of isolated HGPIN of which 67 patients underwent one or more repeat biopsies. In this repeat-biopsy group, 28 prostate cancer diagnoses were made. Age at first biopsy, higher baseline PSA and higher change in PSA were all predictive of cancer detection on repeat biopsies.

Dr Martin said: “This pioneering research carried out at Lancaster University in collaboration with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has the potential to improve important clinical decisions when determining an individual's risk of a future prostate cancer diagnosis in men in the UK.”

For further information go to the journal website