Researchers say PSA levels may predict success of standard treatment for advanced prostate cancer

Surviving prostate cancer: researchers say PSA levels may predict success of standard treatment for advanced prostate cancer

A study published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology suggests that the lower the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level after a common treatment for advanced prostate cancer, the lower the risk of dying.

Doctors measure PSA, an enzyme produced by the prostate, to screen for prostate cancer. Many experts estimate that PSA levels greater than 4 ng/ml raise your risk of prostate cancer by as much as 25 to 30 percent.

Researchers evaluated 1,345 men with PSA levels of at least 5 ng/ml who received seven months of androgen-deprivation therapy, a standard treatment for cancer that has progressed beyond the prostate (metastatic).

The study found that men who maintained a PSA level of 4 ng/ml or less had less than one-third the risk of death as those with higher PSA levels, and those with the lowest levels (0.2 ng/ml) had less than one-fifth the risk of death. Patients with PSA levels greater than 4 ng/ml survived an average of 13 months. In contrast, the average survival rate improved to 44 months for those with PSA levels between 0.2 and 4 ng/ml and 75 months for patients with PSA of 0.2 ng/ml or less, according to the study.

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