HealthDay News — For patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening may be harmful, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Gerardo A. Vitiello, MD, from Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues examined whether use of PSA-based screening affects time to transplantation and transplant outcomes in patients with ESRD. A total of 3,782 male patients undergoing primary renal transplant evaluation during a 10-year period were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were grouped by age according to the American Urological Association screening guidelines: <55 years, 55–69 years, and >69 years.

Overall, 63.6% of candidates underwent screening and 31.7% of candidates received kidney transplants. The researchers found that there was no correlation between PSA screening and improved post-transplant patient survival (P=0.24). In patients aged <55 and 55–69 years who had a positive screening result, PSA screening increased the time to listing and transplantation (P<0.05). The likelihood of receiving a transplant regardless of the screening outcome was reduced for PSA-screened candidates vs. those who were not screened (P<0.001).

“These data strongly suggest that PSA screening for prostate cancer may be more harmful than protective in renal transplant candidates because it does not appear to confer a survival benefit to these candidates and may delay listing and decrease transplantation rates,” the authors write.

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