NYON, Switzerland, September 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- ProstateHealthIndex.org - a major online resource to help assess risk for prostate cancer - is now available in five languages, English, French German, Italian and Spanish.
Created by the scientific team behind the world's largest independent medical diagnostics company - Beckman Coulter, Inc. (European headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland) - ProstateHealthIndex.org provides educational information for patients, physicians and clinical laboratory staff.
The newly launched site describes the medical research behind a new blood test (p2PSA), and the Prostate Health Index (phi), that scientists have created to significantly improve a patient's risk assessment for prostate cancer.
The dilemma faced by men with an elevated prostate-specific antigen, or PSA test, is how to find out if they actually have prostate cancer, explained Peter Heseltine, M.D, medical director for Beckman Coulter. That usually meant undergoing an invasive prostate biopsy. The search has been underway for several years to find a non-invasive way of assessing cancer risk.
And Dr. Heseltine added: The Prostate Health Index (phi) provides clinicians with a way of combining and interpreting three blood tests that measure different forms of the PSA protein. The index is a risk assessment tool for prostate cancer. A low phi result indicates a lower risk of prostate cancer, while an elevated phi suggests that it may be appropriate to have a prostate biopsy.
The new website encourages dialogue between patients, physicians and laboratory professionals, and provides guidance and education, fostering more informed prostate biopsy decision-making. Included are links to medical resources and the latest scientific studies.
As one example, recent findings from the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) showed a 30 percent mortality reduction from prostate cancer deaths if PSA levels were monitored over approximately seven years. So, while the current PSA test informs doctors there may be a problem with the prostate, it does not indicate what the specific problem is - cancer or no cancer.
Notes to Editor
To obtain a free digital copy of the leaflet Do I need a prostate biopsy? simply send your e-mail address by filling out the form at http://www.prostatehealthindex.org/patient1-request-form.asp
These include a recent study published in The Journal of Urology, which confirmed that the phi score is a better predictor of prostate cancer risk than PSA or percent free PSA alone in men 50 years of age and older with a PSA range of 2-10 ng/mL who had a digital rectal exam with no suspicious findings.
 Le BV, Griffin CR, Loeb S, Carvalhal GF, Kan D, Baumann NA, Catalona WJ. [-2] pro-PSA is more accurate than total and free PSA in differentiating prostate cancer from benign disease in a prospective prostate cancer screening study. J of Urology 2010 April; 183(4):1355-1359.
The Beckman Coulter phi
This combines three automated blood tests into one index that estimates a man's probability of having prostate cancer found on biopsy. Beckman Coulter phi is a composite score of Access Hybritech PSA, free PSA and the new p2PSA (not available in the United States) assay, which measures the free PSA isoform [-2]proPSA. This assessment can only be carried out in a hospital or medically approved laboratory.
About Beckman Coulter
Beckman Coulter, Inc., a $3.3 billion company based in California, USA, develops, manufactures and markets products that simplify, automate and innovate complex biomedical tests. More than 200,000 Beckman Coulter systems operate in laboratories around the world, supplying critical information for improving patient health and reducing the cost of care. For more information, visit http://www.beckmancoulter.com.
SOURCE: Beckman Coulter Inc
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