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Effect of a Low-Intensity PSA-Based Screening Intervention on Prostate Cancer Mortality: The CAP Randomized Clinical Trial

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Martin, RM 
Donovan, JL 
Turner, EL 
Metcalfe, C 
Young, GJ 


IMPORTANCE Prostate cancer screening remains controversial because potential mortality or quality-of-life benefits may be outweighed by harms from overdetection and overtreatment. OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effect of a single prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening intervention and standardized diagnostic pathway on prostate cancer-specific mortality. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS The Cluster Randomized Trial of PSA Testing for Prostate Cancer (CAP) included 419 582 men aged 50 to 69 years and was conducted at 573 primary care practices across the United Kingdom. Randomization and recruitment of the practices occurred between 2001 and 2009; patient follow-up ended on March 31, 2016. INTERVENTION An invitation to attend a PSA testing clinic and receive a single PSA test vs standard (unscreened) practice. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Primary outcome: prostate cancer-specific mortality at a median follow-up of 10 years. Prespecified secondary outcomes: diagnostic cancer stage and Gleason grade (range, 2-10; higher scores indicate a poorer prognosis) of prostate cancers identified, all-cause mortality, and an instrumental variable analysis estimating the causal effect of attending the PSA screening clinic. RESULTS Among 415 357 randomizedmen(mean [SD] age, 59.0[5.6] years), 189 386 in the intervention group and 219 439 in the control groupwere included in the analysis (n = 408 825; 98%). In the intervention group, 75 707 (40%)attended the PSAtesting clinic and 67 313 (36%) underwent PSAtesting. Of 64 436 with a valid PSAtest result, 6857 (11%) had a PSA level between 3 ng/mLand 19.9 ng/mL, ofwhom5850 (85%) had a prostate biopsy. After a median follow-up of 10 years, 549 (0.30 per 1000 person-years) died of prostate cancer in the intervention group vs 647 (0.31 per 1000 person-years) in the control group (rate difference, -0.013 per 1000 person-years [95%CI, -0.047 to0.022]; rate ratio [RR] ,0.96 [95%CI,0.85 to 1.08]; P = .50). The number diagnosed with prostate cancerwas higher in the intervention group (n = 8054; 4.3%) than in the control group (n = 7853; 3.6%) (RR, 1.19 [95%CI, 1.14 to 1.25] ; P < .001). More prostate cancer tumors with a Gleason grade of 6 or lowerwere identified in the intervention group (n = 3263/189 386 [1.7%]) than in the control group (n = 2440/219 439 [1.1%] ) (difference per 1000 men, 6.11 [95%CI, 5.38 to 6.84]; P < .001). In the analysis of all-cause mortality, therewere 25 459 deaths in the intervention group vs 28 306 deaths in the control group (RR,0.99 [95%CI,0.94 to 1.03]; P = .49). In the instrumental variable analysis for prostate cancer mortality, the adherence-adjusted causal RRwas0.93 (95%CI,0.67 to 1.29; P = .66). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Among practices randomized to a single PSA screening intervention vs standard practice without screening, there was no significant difference in prostate cancer mortality after a median follow-up of 10 years but the detection of low-risk prostate cancer cases increased. Although longer-term follow-up is under way, the findings do not support single PSA testing for population-based screening. TRIAL REGISTRATION ISRCTN Identifier: ISRCTN92187251.



Age Distribution, Aged, Early Detection of Cancer, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Male, Mass Screening, Middle Aged, Primary Health Care, Prostate-Specific Antigen, Prostatic Neoplasms, Social Class, United Kingdom

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JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association

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American Medical Association
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (via University of Oxford) (HTA no. 96/20/99)
Medical Research Council (MR/L003120/1)
British Heart Foundation (None)