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Economic analysis of PSA screening, selective treatment strategies

March 24, 2016

Can prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer be cost-effective? A study, commentary and author interview published online by JAMA Oncology examines that question.

The future of PSA screening is uncertain with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's recommendation against routine PSA screening for prostate cancer and conservative guidance from other panels.

Ruth Etzioni, Ph.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, and coauthors used simulation modeling to examine the potential cost-effectiveness of plausible PSA screening strategies and to assess the value added by increased use of conservative management among low-risk, screening-detected cancer cases.

The study reports that if PSA screening is to be cost-effective, it should be used conservatively and in combination with conservative management for low-risk disease.

"Our findings have clear implications for the future of PSA screening in the United States. Rather than stopping PSA screening, as recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, implementation of strategies that extend the screening interval and/or use higher PSA biopsy thresholds have the potential to preserve substantial benefit while controlling harm and costs," the article concludes.
-end-
To read the full study and a related commentary by Andrew J. Vickers, Ph.D., of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, please visit the For The Media website.

(JAMA Oncol. Published online March 24, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.6275. Available pre-embargo to the media at http://media.jamanetwork.com.)

Editor's Note: The study includes funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Media Advisory: To contact corresponding study author Ruth Etzioni, Ph.D., call Kristin Woodward at 206-667-5095 or email kwoodwar@fredhutch.org. To contact commentary author Andrew J. Vickers, Ph.D., call Nicole H. McNamara at 646-227-3633 or email mcnamarn@mskcc.org.

The JAMA Network Journals

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