Contact: Peter Patterson
(202) 835-8718
800-892-1400 ext. 1718
Email: ppatterson@aacc.org

Tuesday, May 10, 2011
AACC Announces Webinar 'PSA: Optimizing Its Use In Prostate Cancer Screening And Risk Assessment'

Washington, DC – May 5, 2011         The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) announces a webinar, PSA: Optimizing its Use in Prostate Cancer Screening and Risk Assessment, to be held on June 22, 2011 at 2:00pm Eastern. The webinar will last 90 minutes.

After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. The latest numbers from the American Cancer Society for the disease in the US are for 2010: almost 218,000 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed, some 32,000 men dying of the disease, and about 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with the disease during his lifetime. In terms of death from cancer, about 1 in 36 men will die from prostate cancer, making it the second leading cause, behind only lung cancer.

Using the PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) test to screen asymptomatic men for prostate cancer has been controversial since the 1990s. Some members of the medical community argue that there is not enough evidence to suggest that using the test as a screening tool improves patient survival, but others believe the test has been instrumental in reducing mortality from prostate cancer in the US, which decreased by about one-third from 41,400 deaths in 1996 to 27,350 deaths in 2006. In 2010, approximately 217,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer and many of these cancers were found early as a result of routine screening performed using the PSA test. Proponents of using the PSA test to screen asymptomatic men point to statistics like these as proof that screening makes a major difference. However, others contend that using PSA for screening does little or nothing to decrease mortality from this disease. Recent data from two clinical trials, the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) and the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial, are not only re-igniting this decades-long controversy, but are also raising new discussions about what can be done to improve the clinical specificity of PSA and optimize the prostate cancer screening process.

During this webinar, two prostate cancer testing experts from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, Hans Lilja, MD, PhD, Attending Research Clinical Chemist in the Departments of Clinical Laboratories, Surgery (Urology Service), and Medicine (Genitourinary Oncology Service), and Andrew Vickers, PhD, Associate Attending Research Methodologist, will address current recommendations for prostate cancer screening and risk assessment; what laboratories can learn from the results of the ERSPC and PLCO studies regarding the impact of PSA screening and how it can be improved; how risk-prediction models that assess PSA test results plus factors such as age, ethnicity and family history can potentially be used to improve the clinical specificity of PSA screening, and more. Lynn Witherspoon, MD, System Vice President and Chief Medical Information Officer at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, LA, will moderate.

AACC invites journalists reporting on health issues affecting the US, and prostate cancer in particular, to attend this important and timely event. For a complimentary registration, complete and submit a Press Registration Form. For more information about the webinar or AACC, contact Peter Patterson on either of the above phone numbers or by email at ppatterson@aacc.org.

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AACC is a leading professional society dedicated to improving healthcare through laboratory medicine. Its over 9,000 members are clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and others involved in developing tests and directing laboratory operations. AACC brings this community together with programs that advance knowledge, expertise, and innovation.