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Prostate-Specific Antigen-Based Screening for Prostate Cancer: Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force.

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Importance: Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among US men. Objective: To systematically review evidence on prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based prostate cancer screening, treatments for localized prostate cancer, and prebiopsy risk calculators to inform the US Preventive Services Task Force. Data Sources: Searches of PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Cochrane Registries and Databases from July 1, 2011, through July 15, 2017, with a surveillance search on February 1, 2018. Study Selection: English-language reports of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of screening; cohort studies reporting harms; RCTs and cohort studies of active localized cancer treatments vs conservative approaches (eg, active surveillance, watchful waiting); external validations of prebiopsy risk calculators to identify aggressive cancers. Data Extraction and Synthesis: One investigator abstracted data; a second checked accuracy. Two investigators independently rated study quality. Main Outcomes and Measures: Prostate cancer and all-cause mortality; false-positive screening results, biopsy complications, overdiagnosis; adverse effects of active treatments. Random-effects meta-analyses were conducted for treatment harms. Results: Sixty-three studies in 104 publications were included (N = 1904950). Randomization to PSA screening was not associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer mortality in either a US trial with substantial control group contamination (n = 76683) or a UK trial with low adherence to a single PSA screen (n = 408825) but was associated with significantly reduced prostate cancer mortality in a European trial (n = 162243; relative risk [RR], 0.79 [95% CI, 0.69-0.91]; absolute risk reduction, 1.1 deaths per 10000 person-years [95% CI, 0.5-1.8]). Of 61604 men screened in the European trial, 17.8% received false-positive results. In 3 cohorts (n = 15136), complications requiring hospitalization occurred in 0.5% to 1.6% of men undergoing biopsy after abnormal screening findings. Overdiagnosis was estimated to occur in 20.7% to 50.4% of screen-detected cancers. In an RCT of men with screen-detected prostate cancer (n = 1643), neither radical prostatectomy (hazard ratio [HR], 0.63 [95% CI, 0.21-1.93]) nor radiation therapy (HR, 0.51 [95% CI, 0.15-1.69]) were associated with significantly reduced prostate cancer mortality vs active monitoring, although each was associated with significantly lower risk of metastatic disease. Relative to conservative management, radical prostatectomy was associated with increased risk of urinary incontinence (pooled RR, 2.27 [95% CI, 1.82-2.84]; 3 trials; n = 1796) and erectile dysfunction (pooled RR, 1.82 [95% CI, 1.62-2.04]; 2 trials; n = 883). Relative to conservative management (8 cohort studies; n = 3066), radiation therapy was associated with increased risk of erectile dysfunction (pooled RR, 1.31 [95% CI, 1.20-1.42]). Conclusions and Relevance: PSA screening may reduce prostate cancer mortality risk but is associated with false-positive results, biopsy complications, and overdiagnosis. Compared with conservative approaches, active treatments for screen-detected prostate cancer have unclear effects on long-term survival but are associated with sexual and urinary difficulties.

Date published: 
Tue, 05/08/2018
Fenton JJ
Weyrich MS
Durbin S
Liu Y
Bang H
Melnikow J
MESH Headers: 
Age Factors
Biopsy/adverse effects
*Early Detection of Cancer/methods/standards
False Positive Reactions
Medical Overuse
Middle Aged
Practice Guidelines as Topic
Prostate-Specific Antigen/*blood
Prostatic Neoplasms/*diagnosis/mortality/therapy
Risk Factors
Watchful Waiting
JAMA. 2018 May 8;319(18):1914-1931. doi: 10.1001/jama.2018.3712.
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