Beckman Coulter's phi named as a recommended diagnostic test for early prostate cancer

May 21, 2014

Beckman Coulter’s Prostate Health Index (phi), a blood test to improve specificity for prostate cancer detection, has been recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) in its recently updated Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Prostate Cancer Early Detection. Inclusion in the NCCN Guidelines recognizes the benefit and clinical utility of phi for better prostate cancer diagnosis and for the reduction of unnecessary biopsies. The NCNN is a not-for-profit alliance of 25 of the world's leading cancer centers.

“It is exciting to see phi recommended in the NCCN Guidelines. I started offering phi to my patients this year, and it has proven to be a valuable addition to our shared decision making process,” says William Catalona, MD, director of the Clinical Prostate Cancer Program at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

Approved for use by the FDA in men with PSA values between 4 and 10 ng/mL, the phi is a non-invasive blood test that, according to the Beckman Coulter U.S. Prostate Cancer Pivotal Study Report, is three times more specific in detecting prostate cancer than PSA alone. As such, it may decrease the need for many men with elevated PSA levels to undergo a biopsy in order to achieve a reliable diagnosis. Following the initial testing to detect prostate cancer–PSA and digital rectal exam—the guidelines recommend the use of phi to further define the probability of cancer before undergoing biopsy or a repeat biopsy. It is recommended that tests that improve specificity, such as phi, be considered for patients who have a higher risk of cancer, despite a negative biopsy. The new version of the guidelines is designed to reduce unnecessary testing and over-diagnosis. Learn more about the phi.

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