Columbia study finds differences in PSA, PSA density test measurements for Caucasian, Hispanic men

Doctors at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's Columbia Presbyterian campus will report today the results of one of the few studies to look at the performance of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests in the detection of prostate cancer in Hispanics as compared to Caucasians. The study shows when the test is extended to the point of measuring PSA density (PSAD), it is better able to predict whether a man has malignant or benign disease if the man is a Caucasian than if he is Hispanic.

Dr. Erik Goluboff, assistant professor of urology at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and the senior author of the study - which is being presented at the meeting of the American Urological Association in Orlando, Florida - said that there is a "cutoff point"-0.15-above which readings in the PSAD have a 40% likelihood of being correlated with confirmed cases of malignant disease in Caucasian men. That cutoff point is, however, not useful with Hispanic men. "We don't know what it is, but we should probably have a different cutoff point for Hispanic men in interpreting the PSAD, or some other way of managing the Hispanic PSADs," said Dr. Goluboff, who is Director of Urology at the Allen Pavilion of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

The authors, who also include Drs. John S. Lam, James M. McKiernan, Aristotelis G. Anastasiadis, and Mitchell C. Benson, note that although many studies have looked at PSA tests in Caucasians and African-Americans, few have addressed Hispanics. They set out to compare the performance of the test in groups of Hispanics and Caucasians.

A total of 404 Hispanics and 341 non-Hispanic Caucasians who had "elevated" PSA or abnormal rectal exam underwent transrectal ultrasound and biopsies between 1996 and 2001 at the Hospital. (Men were classified as Hispanic if they identified themselves that way, or by their surname.) Prior to biopsy, all patients underwent volume measurements of the entire prostate.

Of these

Contact: Annie Bayne
Columbia University Medical Center

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