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Post-vasectomy home sperm test receives FDA nod

The FDA has approved SpermCheck Vasectomy (ContraVac, Inc., Charlottesville, VA), a diagnostic product that confirms men’s post-vasectomy sterility. The device will enable men to test their post-vasectomy fertility status at home, rather than returning to the physician’s office or a laboratory for confirmation.

Similar to a home pregnancy test for women, the test has the sensitivity and specificity required to detect low numbers of sperm, according to ContraVac. The test will be available in mid-2008. Physicians will be able to provide the product to their patients who undergo vasectomy, or men can order the product directly from the vendor.

An investigational bladder instillation appears to improve daytime pain in patients with painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis in a single dose, according to interim results of a phase II study.

Men with prostate cancer and their partners face difficult decisions regarding treatment, and outcomes depend on some unexpected factors, according to results of a multicenter study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (2008; 358:1250-61).

Serum-based tumor markers are not used in more than half of all patients who have testis cancer, report researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor.

Substantial variation in the prescribed and delivered doses of intensity-modulated radiation therapy for prostate and other cancers exists among medical institutions, raising concerns about the validity of comparing clinical outcomes, according to a University of Pennsylvania study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2008; 100:300-7).

PSA levels typically have correlated with prostate biopsy results in the detection of prostate cancer, but that correlation no longer exists for men with a normal prostate exam, suggest results of a study published online in Cancer. The study suggests that improved biopsy techniques make PSA less useful in prostate cancer screening.

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