Two Blood Tests That Can Help Determine the Need for a Biopsy.

The latest edition of the Johns Hopkins Health Alerts (July 9th) cites two blood tests that can provide important information which, when coupled with a physician’s clinical judgment, can more accurately predict the need for a biopsy to confirm or deny the presence of prostate cancer.  The Prostate Health Index (phi test) measures blood levels of PSA, free PSA and an early precursor of PSA called proPSA or p2PSA. The 4Kscore measures total, free and intact PSA and in addition, measures an enzyme called human kallikrein2 (hK2) which is elevated in men with prostate cancer. The significance of these test results in discussed in the linked article.  One must keep in mind that these tests are new and do not have a long track record of results. They can also be marketed without proof of benefit. For more information, see the April 24th, 2014 blog post on this website.

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