No Mortality Benefit for Annual Prostate Cancer Screening

Thirteen-year follow-up shows no benefit for organized annual screening versus usual care

FRIDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- There is no evidence of a mortality benefit for organized annual prostate cancer screening versus usual care, according to a study published online Jan. 6 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Gerald L. Andriole, M.D., from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues investigated the potential mortality benefit of annual prostate screening after 13 years of follow-up, following the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial. Participants included 76,685 men, aged 55 to 74 years, who were enrolled between 1993 and 2001, and were randomly allocated to receive organized annual screening of prostate-specific antigen for six years (intervention), or usual care (control). Participants were screened through 2006, and were followed through 2009 to identify all incident prostate cancers and prostate cancer deaths.

The investigators found that, at 13 years, 4,250 and 3,815 participants had been diagnosed with cancer in the intervention and control arms, respectively. The cumulative incidence rates were 108.4 and 97.1 per 10,000 person-years in the intervention and controls arms, respectively. There was a significant relative increase of 12 percent in the intervention arm (relative risk [RR], 1.12). The cumulative mortality rates from prostate cancer, after 13 years of follow-up, were 3.7 and 3.4 deaths per 10,000 person-years in the intervention and control arms, respectively (RR, 1.09).

"After 13 years of follow-up, there was no evidence of a mortality benefit for organized annual screening in the PLCO trial compared with opportunistic screening, which forms part of usual care," the authors write.

Several of the study authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

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