Is the utility of prostate-specific antigen velocity for prostate cancer detection affected by age?

BJU Int. 2008 Apr;101(7):817-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2008.07501.x.


Objective: To determine whether prostate-specific antigen velocity (PSAV) is useful for prostate cancer detection in men from different age groups, and whether the same PSAV thresholds can reasonably be applied to all men aged >or=40 years.

Patients and methods: From a large prostate cancer screening study, 13,615 men had data on age and a calculable PSAV. We used statistical analysis to examine the ability of PSAV to predict prostate cancer risk in each age decade.

Results: For men of all ages, the median PSAV was 0.6-0.7 ng/mL/year in men with prostate cancer, and 0-0.1 ng/mL/year in men with no prostate cancer (P < 0.005 for all). On receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, the area under the curve was 0.800, 0.697, 0.693, and 0.668 for predicting prostate cancer risk using PSAV for men aged 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and >or=70 years, respectively. In the multivariate model controlling for race, family history, and the total PSA level, both PSA and PSAV were significant independent predictors of prostate cancer risk in men of all ages.

Conclusions: The PSAV is significantly higher in men of all ages with prostate cancer compared with men with no prostate cancer; although on ROC analysis it performed the best in young men. Interestingly, the median PSAV in men with prostate cancer was <0.75 ng/mL/year regardless of age, suggesting that this threshold may be too high. Overall, this data confirms that PSAV is a useful tool for prostate cancer detection for men aged >or=40 years.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Reference Values


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen