Prostate-specific antigen as a screening test. The Austrian experience

Urol Clin North Am. 1997 May;24(2):315-21. doi: 10.1016/s0094-0143(05)70378-5.


PSA-based screening substantially increases the prostate cancer detection rate and the percentage of organ-confined tumors. It appears that there is some benefit from screening for prostate cancer because of the increased amount of potentially curable disease discovered and the fact that 96% of the pathologically staged tumors detected have histologic features associated with aggressive cancer. Additional evidence that nearly all tumors detected on the basis of initial PSA screening are apt to be clinically significant may be derived from the information that PSA-based screening decreases the incidence of incidental A1 grade III and A2 tumors but does not increase the detection of clinically insignificant A1 grade I and II tumors. At this time, PSA represents the most effective and valuable tool to detect early prostate cancer; therefore, PSA should be used to improve early diagnosis of prostate cancer. Some advances have been made with the introduction of age-specific reference ranges and the ability to measure free to total PSA ratios. The data presented support the clinical usefulness of age-specific reference ranges for serum PSA. Calculation of the free to total PSA ratio is valuable in deciding which screening volunteers require further evaluation, increases the specificity of PSA screening, and as demonstrated may be useful in deciding which patients with isolated PIN should undergo repeat biopsies. Based on these facts, PSA truly can be described as the most important and useful marker for adenocarcinoma of the prostate. Based on these encouraging results and the obligingness of the social insurances, we will be able to continue PSA screening for early detection of prostate cancer for all concerned Tyrolean men in the future.

MeSH terms

  • Austria
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen