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    Guarded approval for new USPSTF PSA grade

    Grade D recommendation for men ≥70 years criticized


    Dr. Penson: ‘A major change’ for task force

    “Most urologists should be happy with the C rating for men 55 to 69,” AUA spokesman David F. Penson, MD, MPH, told Urology Times. “That is a major change for the task force and recognizes the need to balance risks and benefits of screening. It allows us to consult with patients and offer them screening if they want it.”

    Dr. Penson said additional research is needed and welcomed the task force’s call for additional research on the potential benefits and harms of screening among men at higher risk of prostate cancer, such as African-American patients and those with a family history of the disease.

    Read: Inefficient payer approval processes fail patients, frustrate docs

    The AUA commended the USPSTF for upgrading its recommendation for screening among men 55 to 69 years of age.

    “The draft recommendations… are thoughtful and reasonable, and are in direct alignment with the AUA’s clinical practice guideline and guidelines from most other major physician groups,” said AUA President Richard K. Babayan, MD.

    Regarding the D rating for older men, Dr. Babayan said, “We believe that selected older healthier men may garner a benefit from prostate cancer screening and should, therefore, talk to their doctors about the benefits and risks of prostate cancer screening.”

    LUGPA President Neal Shore, MD, also welcomed the upgraded rating for men aged 55 to 69 years, but said the organization remains concerned about the task force’s continued use of “arbitrary age cutoffs” in its recommendations, both for younger and older men.

    “LUGPA believes that the USPSTF did not adequately address the needs of these high-risk groups in neither younger men nor for healthy male populations over 70, both groups that could benefit from early detection of high-risk prostate cancer,” Dr. Shore said.

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    LUGPA and the AACU each urged Congress to approve legislation to reform the USPSTF, HR 539, which would require the task force to formally consult with stakeholders, including specialists and patient groups, in the development of new recommendations.

    The AUA was a bit more muted on that topic. Dr. Babayan thanked the USPSTF “for implementing strategies to solicit feedback from the community on its research plan, and for engaging urologists to review the evidence report upon which these draft recommendations were based.”

    Next: AACU president discusses recommendation

    Bob Gatty
    Bob Gatty, a former congressional aide, covers news from Washington for Urology Times.


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