Advancing the Science

Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog – an eclectic collection of research- and research education-related stories: feature stories, mini news bites, learning opportunities, profiles and more from Mayo Clinic.

October 4, 2016

Prostate biopsies down, complications up

By Elizabeth Zimmermann

Researchers are seeking ways to make prostate cancer biopsies safer.

While absolute rates of biopsy and post-biopsy complications have decreased after several benchmark prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening publications, the relative risk for each patient continues to increase, according to a new study by Mayo Clinic researchers.

The study is the largest to examine the impact of PSA screening trials and revised PSA screening guidelines on rates of prostate biopsy and the first to examine their impact on post-biopsy complications. The results, published in the March 2016 issue of European Urology, suggest a need to reduce the harm associated with biopsy.

Photograph of R. Jeffrey Karnes, M.D.

R. Jeffrey Karnes, M.D.

"The recent guidelines urge that we are more thoughtful in our approach to PSA screening, and a downstream effect of that seems to be that we biopsy fewer patients, which has reduced the overall number of patients who experience biopsy-related complications," said R. Jeffrey Karnes, M.D., a urologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and senior author of the study. "But we also found that the potential complications per patient went up, which means that we must continue to take steps to make biopsies as safe as possible."

Read the full story in Forefront - Mayo Clinic Cancer Center's online magazine.

This is one of many health care delivery findings made possible through the OptumLabs Data Warehouse. The goal of the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, which manages the OptumLabs relationship, is to enhance patient experience, while improving outcomes and cost.

Tags: About, Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Findings, Forefront, Jeffrey Karnes, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, OptumLabs, prostate cancer, urology

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