Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Avoiding Prostate Biopsy.

New Approach Predicts When Invasive Test Not Needed


Reporting in the Oct. 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the researchers find that the test correctly predicted prostate cancer in 36 of 38 patients. It correctly said there was no cancer in nearly eight out of 10 cases. Perhaps most significant were the findings for men whose PSA test was hard to interpret -- those with marginally elevated PSA scores. Nearly all of such men opt for biopsies. The proteomic test could tell with more than 70% accuracy whether they had cancer or not.

Prostate specialist Mark S. Litwin, MD, MPH, associate professor of Urology at UCLA, says the test "heralds a new era in prostate cancer screening."

"Nonetheless, controversy over prostate cancer screening will remain until we are able to ascertain which tumors actually need to be diagnosed [by biopsy] and which do not," Litwin tells WebMD.

Jay Brooks, MD, chair of hematology and oncology at the Ochsner Clinic in Baton Rouge, La., warns that the proteomic profile test must be studied in larger, independent trials. Even then, the test still will leave patients with hard choices to make.

"If this finding in prostate cancer holds up, you could say to a patient, 'There is a 71% chance you do not have cancer,'" says Brooks. "Many people will take that number and say, 'I don't want a biopsy. Others will say, 'That 30% chance of cancer scares me, so I will have a biopsy.' But it always helps if you can give patients more information to tell them what the chances are of having or not having a disease."

Levine says Correlogic is pushing forward with clinical trials. And stay tuned, he says: proteomic profiling can be used to hear what your body is saying about many other diseases.

"We are working on breast cancer and we are working on pancreatic cancer," Levine says. "We have recently announced a research agreement with Johns Hopkins University looking at vasculitis, Wagner's disease, and lupus. The applications are limitless. It goes beyond early diagnosis to evaluation of drug treatment and drug discovery." -->

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

man with doctor
Symptoms, risks, treatments
man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore
prostate cancer cells
What does this diagnosis mean?
doctor and male patient
Is it worth it?
cancer fighting foods
15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
Prostate Enlarged
Picture Of The Prostate
Prostate Cancer Quiz
screening tests for men
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Vitamin D