Early prostate cancer antigen (EPCA): A better prostate cancer test?

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Early prostate cancer antigen (EPCA): A better prostate cancer test?

Question

I read about the new prostate cancer test called EPCA that is supposed to be better than the PSA test. What can you tell me about it?

Frank
Canada

Answer

Early prostate cancer antigen (EPCA) is a protein (tumor marker) made by prostate cancer cells. Research is ongoing to determine whether the EPCA prostate cancer test is more accurate than the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test in detecting prostate cancer. The drawback of the PSA test is that elevated PSA levels can occur with cancerous and noncancerous prostate conditions. So false-positive results occur.

Initial results from several small studies of the EPCA test are promising. But larger studies are needed to confirm these findings before recommending EPCA as a replacement for PSA testing. Other tumor markers for prostate cancer have been studied. But none so far has outperformed the PSA test in detecting prostate cancer.

Scientists hope that newer prostate cancer tests will eliminate many of the false-positive results that occur with the PSA test. Currently, the EPCA prostate cancer test is only available for use in clinical trials.

Last Updated: 10/09/2006
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