Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Using a team approach improves PSA usefulness

Credit: Image courtesy of Medical
University of Vienna
CANCER DIGEST – Feb. 3, 2015 – Researchers in Austria from multiple specialties are teaming up to make the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test more precise for diagnosing and treating prostate cancer.

In a approach called the Multi-disciplinary team (MDT) urologists join with molecular specialists and pathologists to evaluate PSA tests, and the researchers at the University Department of Urology at the MedUni Vienna and the Vienna General Hospital say the results are greatly improved.

Led by Shahrokh Shariat, head of the University Department of Urology at the MedUni Vienna and a member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) Vienna, the new approach to PSA testing involves evaluation over time.

If a patient is still young and the PSA level is only slightly raised, he is actively monitored with regular follow-ups. If the value rises to a level that a biopsy needs to be considered, the test is repeated within twelve weeks at the most and further bio-markers and mathematical calculation models are factored into the decision-making process.

"In addition to the PSA test, we use the new molecular methods in imaging and pathology to create a comprehensive biological profile of the cells,” Shariat explained in a press release. “This enables us to make a precise risk assessment in the MDT, localize the tumor accurately and determine its molecular structure. We also use special calculation models in formulating a prognosis." 

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