Jeff Smith noon, March 8
Government Panel Thumbs Down PSA Test
The government-sanctioned United States Preventive Services Task Force has reported that the P.S.A. blood test to screen for prostate cancer does not save lives and leads to more tests and treatments that cause pain, impotence and incontinence, according to a story in today's (Oct. 7) New York Times.
There are 44 million men over 50 in the U.S. and 33 million have had P.S.A. tests, sometimes without their knowledge, says the task force. The former San Diego biotech Hybritech developed a commercial version of the P.S.A. test in the 1980s. The company was sold for $400 million; Hybritech insiders went on to launch other biotech firms, often as venture capitalists.