1. STHLM3 model could reduce unnecessary biopsies without compromising the ability to diagnose prostate cancer
In a study of 58,818 men aged 50-69 published in The Lancet Oncology, researchers found that a test, known as STHLM3, reduced the number of biopsies given to men who received it by 27%, compared to relying solely on PSA measurement. The scientists at the Karolinska Insitute in Sweden combined PSA measurement and a prostate exam, along with analysis of more than 200 genetic markers linked to prostate cancer, and clinical information such as age and family history, to try to develop a more accurate test.
The researchers found that the S3M test was much better than PSA alone at detecting potentially dangerous prostate cancers (those with a Gleason score of 7 or more), and every independent step of the assessment process – from risk assessment, through biomarker panel to prostate exam – added an extra level of prediction to the test. These results give compelling evidence that the S3M risk assessment model can dramatically reduce the number of men undergoing unnecessary biopsies, without compromising the safety of men who do have an aggressive form of prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer UK believe that men need a better test of their risk as soon as possible. That’s why we’re funding an international team of scientists to develop a risk assessment tool for use within primary care in the UK. These plans are still going full-steam ahead, and we expect to have more to say about this in the New Year. That work will accommodate this new Stockholm model when we’ve shown that it’s effective in the UK.