Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Genetic test may refine PSA or it may not!

I am going to read this article for the seventh time and get back to you this week.

In case you missed it, the PR Firm hired by DeCode pumped out a presser (press release), which I refuse to link to directly.....which essentially said

"Analysis of Four SNPs, in Tandem With Genetic Risk Factors Detected by the deCODE ProstateCancer(TM) Test, Yields Substantial Improvement in Efficacy of PSA Screening"

OK, 4 SNPs tells us whose PSA value is a bad 2.8 vs. good 5.8?

Or at least that's what the Kari S. tells us

"This is straighforward genetics with direct clinical utility." -Kari S. (Yes they rushed the release out with the misspelling of "straightforward")

Ok, so tell me, how has this straightforward genetic test performed in a prospective analysis?

What do you mean you haven't done that yet? So how can we have you assert that there is direct clinical utility?

We can't. Maybe you meant STRAY FORWARD?

Secondly, this study was carried out on Caucasian men, leaving African Americans, who often have earlier and more aggressive prostate cancer out in the dark.......

But what really got my Ire was when respected Tweeters started parroting this presser.........

Here is some high heat for us genome critics, read the study and read the presser. If the presser hypes the study, we should tear it apart and present the true facts for all to see on the internet.

Read and analyze the study, not the presser. I know we are all busy these days, but we owe that to our readers and the public. Hell, that makes us even better than a whole host of journalists who seem to quote Kari as if his opinion is the final take.

The Sherpa Says: On seventh read I will have a take on what these "SNPs that strengthen the predictive power of PSA" really mean.


Keith Grimaldi said...

Alright on the post (especially I agree with the white middle aged men bit). But not again about the tweets please - I tweet links which I think may be interesting. Interesting either in a good or a bad way. If a PR on genetics comes out from an important (again, no value judgement here) company about a common disease then I'll tweet it. It's news.

Samir Damani said...

I agree with you Steven. This was a rush job. Adding more confusion to an already controversial test. Not sure this adds much...i also agree with you that its up to genetically inclined MDs to critically evaluate the literature...

Leo Voisey said...

David Summers, a 37 year old MS patient from Murfreesboro, Tennessee was a score of 8.0 on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) when he had the Combination Liberation Therapy and Stem Cell Transplantation at CCSVI Clinic in March of 2012. Having been diagnosed in 1996 he had been in a wheelchair for the past decade without any sensation below the waist or use of his legs.
“It was late 2011 and I didn’t have much future to look forward to” says David. “My MS was getting more progressive and ravaging my body. I was diagnosed as an 8.0 on the EDSS scale; 1 being mild symptoms, 10 being death. There were many new lesions on my optic nerves, in my brain and on my spinal cord. My neurologist just told me: ‘be prepared to deteriorate’. I knew that he was telling me I didn’t have much time left, or at least not much with any quality.” David had previously sought out the liberation therapy in 2010 and had it done in a clinic in Duluth Georgia. “The Interventional Radiologist who did it told me that 50% of all MS patients who have the jugular vein-clearing therapy eventually restenose. I didn’t believe that would happen to me if I could get it done. But I have had MS for 16 years and apparently my veins were pretty twisted up”. Within 90 days, David’s veins had narrowed again, and worse, they were now blocked in even more places than before his procedure.
“I was so happy after my original procedure in 2010. I immediately lost all of the typical symptoms of MS. The cog fog disappeared, my speech came back, the vision in my right eye improved, I was able to regulate my body temperature again, and some of the sensation in my hands came back. But as much as I wanted to believe I felt something, there was nothing below the waist. I kind of knew that I wouldn’t get anything back in my legs. There was just way too much nerve damage now”. But any improvements felt by David lasted for just a few months.
After his relapse, David and his family were frustrated but undaunted. They had seen what opening the jugular veins could do to improve him. Because the veins had closed so quickly after his liberation procedure, they considered another clinic that advocated stent implants to keep the veins open, but upon doing their due diligence, they decided it was just too risky. They kept on searching the many CCSVI information sites that were cropping up on the Internet for something that offered more hope. Finding a suitable treatment, especially where there was no known cure for the disease was also a race against time. David was still suffering new attacks and was definitely deteriorating. Then David’s mother Janice began reading some patient blogs about a Clinic that was offering both the liberation therapy and adult autologous stem cell injections in a series of procedures during a hospital stay. “These patients were reporting a ‘full recovery’ of their neurodegenerative deficits” says Janice, “I hadn’t seen anything like that anywhere else”. She contacted CCSVI Clinic in late 2011 and after a succession of calls with the researchers and surgeons they decided in favor of the combination therapies.For more information please visit http://www.ccsviclinic.ca/?p=904