Public Release:  Comorbidities should be factor in prostate biopsy choice, UCI study finds

Finding targets patients who would not benefit from cancer-detecting biopsy

University of California - Irvine

UC Irvine Health urologists and health policy experts report in a new study that two written assessments that identify existing comorbidities - the patient-reported Total Illness Burden Index for Prostate Cancer (TIBI-Cap) and the physician-reported Charlson Comorbidity Index - can successfully target prostate patients who would not benefit from biopsy to discover possible cancer.

The authors say that by taking comorbidities into factor, it may not be necessary for men to have prostate biopsy. This study does not preclude the use of PSA screening, but it does set the stage for a new and much more targeted strategy for biopsy choice. The desired result - fewer unneeded biopsies and fewer invasive, side-effect-producing treatments.

It's estimated that around 20 percent of men would be in such a high-risk category (for death or hospitalizations) and should consider not having a biopsy.

Study results appear in early online version of the journal Cancer.

The corresponding author is UC Irvine Health urologist Dr. Atreya Dash, who led the study of 104 patients. Co-authors include Drs. Sherrie Kaplan, John Billimek and Sheldon Greenfield of the Health Policy Research Institute at UC Irvine. Greenfield is an Institute of Medicine member and co-chaired an IOM study on comparative effectiveness research.

"Before prostate biopsy, providers should assess the number and severity of the patient's comorbid conditions to discuss whether proceeding with biopsy or therapy is likely to be beneficial," Dash said.

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UC Irvine Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine. UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif. is a 411-bed acute care hospital providing tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation. It is the primary teaching location for UC Irvine School of Medicine, which is ranked as one of the top 50 U.S. medical schools for research by U.S. News.

The School of Medicine includes more than 730 faculty members, 700 residents and fellows, and graduates more than 100 medical students annually. UC Irvine Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UC Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UC Irvine is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County's second-largest employer, UC Irvine contributes an annual economic impact of $4 billion. For more UC Irvine news, visit today.uci.edu.

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