Harvard Perspectives on Prostate Disease

Moving beyond PSA

Biomarkers are helping doctors decide whether to perform a biopsy, determine the best treatment, and develop new targeted therapies*

Finding prostate cancer has traditionally been a two-step process: First a simple blood test identifies men with an increased risk for the disease. For those at risk, a prostate biopsy follows. The main goal of the biopsy is to detect cancer, if it's there. If it is, doctors also examine the tissue to try to distinguish an aggressive cancer that needs treatment from a slow-growing one that may never spread.

*Editor's note: This article expands on a piece that Perspectives' editors wrote for Newsweek in 2008.

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