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A PSA Replacement?

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The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new blood test for prostate cancer, reports MedPage Today's John Gever. The test, which was developed by Beckman Coulter, is being billed as an answer to the prostate-specific antigen accuracy problem as it measures several markers rather than just one. The Prostate Health Index test measures PSA precursor protein [-2] pro-PSA as well as total and free PSA, Gever says, and is indicated for men with PSA test results barely above the upper limit of normal. Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center's Kevin Slawin, one of the co-discoverers of [-2] pro-PSA, says the marker provides a more accurate picture of prostate health than total and free PSA do. "Combining the three markers makes the Prostate Health Index more specific than conventional PSA testing," Gever says. "A pivotal, multicenter study sponsored by Beckman Coulter found that the number of negative biopsies in patients with positive blood-test results was reduced by 31 [percent] with the Prostate Health Index versus conventional PSA screening."

The Scan

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