PSA Velocity and Doubling Time in Diagnosis and Prognosis of Prostate Cancer

Br J Med Surg Urol. 2012 Jul 1;5(4):162-168. doi: 10.1016/j.bjmsu.2011.08.006.


Cancer is a growth process and it is natural that we should be concerned with how the routinely used marker of prostate cancer tumour burden - PSA - changes over time. Such change is measured by PSA velocity or PSA doubling time, described in general as "PSA kinetics". However, it turns out that calculation of PSA velocity and doubling time is far from straightforward. More than 20 different methods have been proposed, and many of these give quite divergent results. There is clear evidence that PSA kinetics are critical for understanding prognosis in advanced or relapsed prostate cancer. However, PSA kinetics have no value for men with an untreated prostate: neither PSA velocity nor doubling time have any role in diagnosing prostate cancer or providing a prognosis for men before treatment.