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A three-way combination of measurements may help improve doctors' ability to accurately predict when prostate cancer might return or metastasize, according to new research from Johns Hopkins.
The new method, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, works by using PSA tests in two ways - the length of time it takes for PSA to double and the length of time between surgical removal of the prostate and the first detectable PSA level - and combines it with a measure of prostate cancer aggressiveness known as a Gleason score.
The researchers found that in men whose PSA tests showed evidence of the marker within three years after surgery, there was three times as much risk that cancer would spread to other organs. Men whose PSA levels doubled within three months were more than 20 times more likely to develop new cancer than someone whose PSA look more than 15 months to double.
Dr Emmanuel Antonarakis, an investigator in the study, said the results should help guide doctors "whether to prescribe immediate treatment for a man whose PSA begins to rise after he has had prostate cancer surgery, or to delay it."
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