Genetically adjusted prostate-specific antigen values may prevent delayed biopsies in African-American men

BJU Int. 2014 Dec;114(6b):E50-E55. doi: 10.1111/bju.12647. Epub 2014 Jul 15.


Objective: To evaluate whether genetic correction using the genetic variants prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) could reduce potentially unnecessary and/or delayed biopsies in African-American men.

Subjects and methods: We compared the genotypes of four PSA-SNPs between 964 Caucasian and 363 African-American men without known prostate cancer (PCa). We adjusted the PSA values based on an individual's PSA-SNP carrier status, and calculated the percentage of men that would meet commonly used PSA thresholds for biopsy (≥ 2.5 or ≥ 4.0 ng/mL) before and after genetic correction. Potentially unnecessary and delayed biopsies were defined as those men who were below and above the biopsy threshold after genetic correction, respectively.

Results: Overall, 349 (96.1%) and 354 (97.5%) African-American men had measured PSA levels <2.5 and <4.0 ng/mL. Genetic correction in African-American men did not avoid any potentially unnecessary biopsies, but resulted in a significant (P < 0.001) reduction in potentially delayed biopsies by 2.5% and 3.9%, based on the biopsy threshold level.

Conclusions: There are significant differences in the influence of the PSA-SNPs between African-American and Caucasian men without known PCa, as genetic correction resulted in an increased proportion of African-American men crossing the threshold for biopsy. These results raise the question of whether genetic differences in PSA might contribute to delayed PCa diagnosis in African-American men.

Keywords: African-American; PSA; genetic variants; prostate cancer; single nucleotide polymorphism.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / genetics*
  • Aged
  • Delayed Diagnosis / prevention & control*
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration / statistics & numerical data*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Unnecessary Procedures*
  • Whites / genetics*


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen