The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has recommended the Beckman Coulter Prostate Health Index (PHI) as a blood test that can improve specificity for prostate cancer detection and reduce the need for unnecessary biopsies. The organization selected the blood test for inclusion in its recently updated clinical practice guidelines in oncology for prostate cancer early detection.
“It is exciting to see PHI recommended in the NCCN Guidelines. I started offering PHI to my patients this year and it has proven to be a valuable addition to our shared decision-making process,” said William Catalona, MD, principal investigator on the Prostate Health Index clinical study, urologist at Northwestern Medicine, and director of the Clinical Prostate Cancer Program at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University in Chicago.
FDA has approved the noninvasive test for use with men possessing PSA values between 4 and 10 ng/mL. PHI has been found three times more specific in detecting prostate cancer than PSA alone. Elevated PSA levels have caused many men to undergo biopsy in order to achieve a reliable diagnosis.
The updated guidelines are intended to address unnecessary testing and over-diagnosis by recommending high-specificity tests, such as PHI, for patients with high risk of cancer, even in the event of a negative biopsy. The guidelines indicate that PHI should be used following initial prostate cancer testing via PSA and digital rectal exam (DRE) to further clarify the likelihood of cancer before pursuing a biopsy.
“The NCCN provides physicians with useful guidelines for prostate cancer detection and treatment,” said Stacy Loeb, MD, assistant professor of urology and population health at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City and PHI pivotal study investigator. “The inclusion of PHI addresses the need for a test with increased specificity for clinically significant prostate cancer.”
For more information about the clinical practice guidelines in oncology for prostate cancer early detection, visit NCCN.