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Progress in prostate recurrence prediction

BALTIMORE, July 27 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers have developed a reference tool that doctors can use to determine who is at high risk of death after prostate cancer surgery.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins and The Brady Urological Institute identified three risk factors and developed a set of tables that assess a combination of blood tests, the surgical pathology results and time following surgery to predict who will require more aggressive treatment.

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If discovered early, prostate cancer is curable and is often treated with a surgical procedure called radical prostatectomy. However, as many as one-third of those who undergo surgery will eventually show signs that the cancer has recurred, said Dr. Stephen Freedland, instructor of urology at Johns Hopkins and lead investigator of the report published in the July 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The risk factors are based on such things as the amount of time, in months, it takes the level of prostate-specific antigen in the blood to double after surgery, the elapsed time in years, from surgery to recurrence as measured by the PSA test. For both, the shorter the time, the higher the risk.

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