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You might be familiar with the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test, which is a standard test for prostate cancer, but now a new prostate cancer screening test has been developed and has shown promise. Called the PSA/SIA (solvent interaction analysis) test, this blood/urine prostate cancer test shows promise and could be more sensitive in detecting prostate cancer than the traditional PSA.
Men are urged to see their doctors for prostate cancer screening beginning in their 40s or 50s, depending on their risk factors, but the PSA test is not very accurate. In fact, most men who have an elevated PSA, an indication of prostate cancer and other prostate disorders, do not have the disease. For one thing, the current PSA test is marred by high false positive and false negative results.
The new prostate cancer screening test, which was developed by AnalizaDx Inc. in Cleveland and studied by researchers at several centers, “has the potential to be a major advance in the development of more accurate tests for prostate cancer diagnosis,” according to urologist Mark Stovsky, MD, lead author and principal investigator of the study, who is with University Hospitals Case Medical Center.
The initial study of the new test involved 222 men from three clinical sites and found that the PSA/ASI had 100% sensitivity (no false-negative results) and 80.3% specificity (low false-positive results). Current PSA testing has a 55 to 75% false positive rate and a false negative rate of up to 15%, which means that some men with “normal” PSA levels actually have prostate cancer.
Stovsky explained that the new test is different because it “provides a new way to look at prostate cancer diagnosis utilizing a novel biological assay which differentiates PSA molecular structures arising from cancer versus non-cancerous glands.” It will be some time before your doctor will be offering this test, as it still needs to undergo further testing and verification. In the meantime, men are still encouraged to get screened for prostate cancer.
Read more in our Prostate Cancer Health Center.
Stovsky M et al.Prostate-specific antigen/solvent interaction analysis: a preliminary evaluation of a new assay concept for detecting prostate cancer using urinary samples. Urology 2011 Sep; 78(3): 601-5