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J Urol. 2002 Aug;168(2):483-7.

Targeted screening for prostate cancer in high risk families: early onset is a significant risk factor for disease in first degree relatives.

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Service d'Urologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Brest Cedex, France.



Targeted screening for prostate cancer in high risk families is generally suggested by ages 40 to 45 years in first degree relatives. We support this concept by reporting higher risk and earlier onset of the disease in these families.


We proposed serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing in 40 to 70-year-old first degree relatives of 435 patients with prostate cancer treated between July 1994 and June 1997. A previous systematic genealogical analysis allowed us to define the familial prostate cancer status of each patient as sporadic or familial.


Of the 747 potential candidates 442 (59%) accepted into the study have been screened, including 240 who were 40 to 49 years old (mean age 44.8) and 202 who were 50 to 70 years old (mean age 57.4). Two of the 240 subjects (0.8%) had PSA greater than 4 ng./ml. in the 40 to 49-year-old group. Prostate biopsies were negative in 1 relative but diagnostic for prostate cancer in the other. In the 50 to 70-year-old group 25 of 202 subjects (12.4%) had a PSA of greater than 4 ng./ml. Prostate cancer was diagnosed in 9 individuals (4.5%), 9 had negative biopsy results, 1 died before biopsy and 6 refused biopsy. The proportion of relatives with PSA greater than 4 ng./ml. and prostate cancer detection was not different according to familial status (sporadic or familial) but it was significantly higher in first degree relatives with early onset prostate cancer in the family at ages younger than 65 years (p = 0.037 and 0.012, respectively).


Our results emphasize the usefulness of PSA screening in high risk families, including those without obvious hereditary features. Furthermore, early onset prostate cancer is a significant risk factor for prostate cancer in first degree relatives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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