Ulcerative colitis (UC) increases the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), but the mechanisms involved in colitis-to-cancer transition (CCT) are not well understood. CCT may involve a inflammation-dysplasia-carcinoma progression sequence compared to the better characterized adenoma-carcinoma progression sequence associated with sporadic CRC. One common thread may be activating mutations in components of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, which occur commonly as early events in sporadic CRC. To examine this hypothesis, we evaluated possible associations between Wnt/β-catenin signaling and CCT based on the cancer stem cell (CSC) model. Wnt/β-catenin immunostaining indicated that UC patients have a level of Wnt-pathway-active cells that is intermediate between normal colon and CRC. These UC cells exhibiting activation of the Wnt pathway constituted a major subpopulation (52%+7.21) of the colonic epithelial cells positive for aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), a putative marker of precursor colon CSC (pCCSC). We further fractionated this subpopulation of pCCSC using a Wnt pathway reporter assay. Over successive passages, pCCSCs with the highest Wnt activity exhibited higher clonogenic and tumorigenic potential than pCCSCs with the lowest Wnt activity, thereby establishing the key role of Wnt activity in driving CSC-like properties in these cells. Notably, 5/20 single cell injections of high-Wnt pCCSC resulted in tumor formation, suggesting a correlation with CCT. Attenuation of Wnt/β-catenin in high-Wnt pCCSC by shRNA-mediated downregulation or pharmacological inhibition significantly reduced tumor growth rates. Overall, the results of our study indicates (i) that early activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling is critical for CCT, and (ii) that high levels of Wnt/β-catenin signaling can further demarcate ALDH+ tumor-initiating cells in the non-dysplastic epithelium of UC patients. As such, our findings offer plausible diagnostic markers and therapeutic target in the Wnt signaling pathway for early intervention in CCT.
Colitis; Colorectal cancer; CSC; ALDH and Wnt/β-catenin
Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) is a genetic vascular disease in which arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) manifest in skin and multiple visceral organs. HHT is caused by heterozygous mutations in endoglin (ENG), activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ALK1), or SMAD4. ALK1 regulates angiogenesis, but the precise function of ALK1 in endothelial cells (ECs) remains elusive. Since most blood vessels of HHT patients do not produce pathological vascular lesions, ALK1 heterozygous ECs may be normal unless additional genetic or environmental stresses are imposed. To investigate the cellular and biochemical phenotypes of Alk1-null versus Alk1-heterozygous ECs, we have generated pulmonary EC lines in which a genotype switch from the Alk1-conditional allele (Alk12f) to the Alk1-null allele (Alk11f) can be induced by tamoxifen treatment. Alk1-null (1 f/1 f) ECs displayed increased migratory properties in vitro in response to bFGF compared with Alk1-het (2 f/1 f) ECs. The 1 f/1 f-ECs formed a denser and more persistent tubular network as compared with their parental 2 f/1 f-ECs. Interestingly, the response to BMP-9 on SMAD1/5 phosphorylation was impaired in both 2 f/1 f- and 1 f/1 f-ECs at a comparable manner, suggesting that other factors in addition to SMADs may play a crucial role for enhanced angiogenic activity in 1 f/1 f-ECs. We also demonstrated in vivo that Alk1-deficient ECs exhibited high migratory and invasive properties. Taken together, these data suggest that enhanced responses to angiogenic cues in ALK1-deficient ECs underlie the pathogenesis of HHT2.
To investigate whether elevated urinary levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), carbonic anhydrase 9 (CA9) and angiogenin are associated with BCa.
This is a case-control study in which voided urines from 127 patients: control subjects (n = 63) and tumor bearing subjects (n = 64) were analyzed. The urinary concentrations of VEGF, CA9, angiogenin and BTA were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We used the area under the curve (AUC) of receiver operating characteristic curves to determine the ability of VEGF, CA9, and angiogenin to detect BCa in voided urine samples. Data were also compared to a commercial ELISA-based BCa detection assay (BTA-Trak©). Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were calculated.
Urinary concentrations of VEGF, CA9, angiogenin and BTA were significantly elevated in BCa. VEGF was the most accurate urinary biomarker (AUC: 0.886; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.8301–0.9418). Furthermore, multivariate regression analysis highlighted VEGF (OR: 5.90; 95% CI: 2.60–13.40, p < 0.0001) as an independent variable. The sensitivities and specificities for VEGF (sensitivity, 83% and specificity, 87%) outperformed BTA (sensitivity, 80% and specificity, 84%).
VEGF may be a valuable addition to voided urine sample analysis for the detection of BCa. Larger, prospective studies are needed to determine the clinical utility of urinary VEGF and angiogenin as biomarkers in the non-invasive evaluation of BCa patients.
angiogenin; bladder cancer; biomarkers; diagnosis; VEGF
The patient population for a phase II trial often consists of multiple subgroups in terms of risk level. In this case, a popular design approach is to specify the response rate and the prevalence of each subgroup, to calculate the response rate of the whole population by the weighted average of the response rates across subgroups, and to choose a standard phase II design such as Simon’s optimal or minimax design to test on the response rate for the whole population. In this case, although the prevalence of each subgroup is accurately specified, the observed prevalence among the accrued patients to the study may be quite different from the expected one because of the small sample size, which is typical in most phase II trials. The fixed rejection value for a chosen standard phase II design may be either too conservative (i.e., increasing the false rejection probability of the experimental therapy) if the trial accrues more high-risk patients than expected or too anti-conservative (i.e., increasing the false acceptance probability of the experimental therapy) if the trial accrues more low-risk patients than expected. We can avoid such problem by adjusting the rejection values depending on the observed prevalence from the trial. In this paper, we investigate the performance of the flexible designs compared with the standard design with fixed rejection values under various settings.
Conditional power; Conditional type I error; Minimax design; Optimal design; Prevalence
Accurate urinary assays for bladder cancer (BCa) detection would benefit both patients and healthcare systems. Through genomic and proteomic profiling of urine components, we have previously identified a panel of biomarkers that can outperform current urine-based biomarkers for the non-invasive detection of BCa. Herein, we report the diagnostic utility of various multivariate combinations of these biomarkers. We performed a case-controlled validation study in which voided urines from 127 patients (64 tumor bearing subjects) were analyzed. The urinary concentrations of 14 biomarkers (IL-8, MMP-9, MMP-10, SDC1, CCL18, PAI-1, CD44, VEGF, ANG, CA9, A1AT, OPN, PTX3, and APOE) were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Diagnostic performance of each biomarker and multivariate models were compared using receiver operating characteristic curves and the chi-square test. An 8-biomarker model achieved the most accurate BCa diagnosis (sensitivity 92%, specificity 97%), but a combination of 3 of the 8 biomarkers (IL-8, VEGF, and APOE) was also highly accurate (sensitivity 90%, specificity 97%). For comparison, the commercial BTA-Trak ELISA test achieved a sensitivity of 79% and a specificity of 83%, and voided urine cytology detected only 33% of BCa cases in the same cohort. These datashow that a multivariate urine-based assay can markedly improve the accuracy of non-invasive BCa detection. Further validation studies are under way to investigate the clinical utility of this panel of biomarkers for BCa diagnosis and disease monitoring.
The early detection of bladder cancer (BCa) is pivotal for successful patient treatment and management. Through genomic and proteomic studies, we have identified a number of bladder cancer-associated biomarkers that have potential clinical utility. In a case-control study, we examined voided urines from 127 subjects: 64 tumor-bearing subjects and 63 controls. The urine concentrations of the following proteins were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); C-C motif chemokine 18 (CCL18), Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) and CD44. Data were compared to a commercial ELISA-based BCa detection assay (BTA-Trak©) and voided urinary cytology. We used analysis of the area under the curve of receiver operating characteristic curves to compare the ability of CCL18, PAI-1, CD44, and BTA to detect BCa in voided urine samples. Urinary concentrations of CCL18, PAI-1, and BTA were significantly elevated in subjects with BCa. CCL18 was the most accurate biomarker (AUC; 0.919; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.8704-0.9674). Multivariate regression analysis highlighted CCL18 (OR; 18.31; 95% CI, 4.95-67.70, p<0.0001) and BTA (OR; 6.43; 95% CI, 1.86-22.21, p = 0.0033) as independent predictors of BCa in voided urine samples. The combination of CCL18, PAI-1 and CD44 improved the area under the curve to0.938. Preliminary results indicate that CCL18 was a highly accurate biomarker for BCa detection in this cohort. Monitoring CCL18 in voided urine samples has the potential to improve non-invasive tests for BCa diagnosis. Furthermore using the combination of CCL18, PAI-1 and CD44 may make the model more robust to errors to detect BCa over the individual biomarkers or BTA.
Current urine-based assays for bladder cancer (BCa) diagnosis lack accuracy, so the search for improved biomarkers continues. Through genomic and proteomic profiling of urine, we have identified a panel of biomarkers associated with the presence of BCa. In this study, we evaluated the utility of three of these biomarkers, interleukin 8 (IL-8), Matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9) and Syndecan in the diagnosis of BCa through urinalysis.
Voided urines from 127 subjects, cancer subjects (n = 64), non-cancer subjects (n = 63) were analyzed. The protein concentrations of IL-8, MMP-9, and Syndecan were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Data were also compared to a commercial ELISA-based BCa detection assay (BTA-Trak©) and urinary cytology. We used the area under the curve of a receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) to compare the performance of each biomarker.
Urinary protein concentrations of IL-8, MMP-9 and BTA were significantly elevated in BCa subjects. Of the experimental markers compared to BTA-Trak©, IL-8 was the most prominent marker (AUC; 0.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72-0.86). Multivariate regression analysis revealed that only IL-8 (OR; 1.51; 95% CI, 1.16-1.97, p = 0.002) was an independent factor for the detection of BCa.
These results suggest that the measurement of IL-8 in voided urinary samples may have utility for urine-based detection of BCa. These findings need to be confirmed in a larger, prospective cohort.
IL-8; Biomarkers; Diagnosis; Bladder cancer
To assess potential long-term consequences of cancer treatment, studies that include comparison groups are needed. These comparison groups should be selected in a way that allows the subtle long-range effects of cancer therapy to be detected and distinguishes them from the effects of aging and other risk factors. The purpose of this investigation was to test two methods of recruiting a comparison group for 5-year oral and pharyngeal cancer survivors (peer-nominated and listed sample) with emphasis on feasibility and the quality of the match.
Participants were drawn from a pool of 5-year survivors treated at a large Southeastern hospital. A peer-nominated sample was solicited from the survivors. A listed sample matched on sex, age, and zip code was purchased. Telephone interviews were conducted by a professional call center.
The following represent our key findings: The quality of matching between survivors and listed sample was better than that between survivors and peer-nominated group in age and sex. The quality of matching between the two methods on other key variables did not differ except for education, with the peer method providing a better match for the survivors than the listed sample. The yield for the listed sample method was greater than for the peer-nominated method. The cost per completed interview was greater for the peer-nominated method than the listed sample.
This study not only documents the methodological challenges in selecting a comparison group for studies examining the late effects of cancer treatment among older individuals but also documents challenges in matching groups that potentially have disproportionate levels of comorbidities and at-risk health behaviors.
Recent epidemiologic, genetic, and molecular studies suggest infection and inflammation initiate certain cancers, including cancers of the prostate. Over the past several years, our group has been studying how mycoplasmas could possibly initiate and propagate cancers of the prostate. Specifically, Mycoplasma hyorhinis encoded protein p37 was found to promote invasion of prostate cancer cells and cause changes in growth, morphology and gene expression of these cells to a more aggressive phenotype. Moreover, we found that chronic exposure of benign human prostate cells to M. hyorhinis resulted in significant phenotypic and karyotypic changes that ultimately resulted in the malignant transformation of the benign cells. In this study, we set out to investigate another potential link between mycoplasma and human prostate cancer.
We report the incidence of men with prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) being seropositive for M. hyorhinis. Antibodies to M. hyorhinis were surveyed by a novel indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in serum samples collected from men presenting to an outpatient Urology clinic for BPH (N = 105) or prostate cancer (N = 114) from 2006-2009.
A seropositive rate of 36% in men with BPH and 52% in men with prostate cancer was reported, thus leading us to speculate a possible connection between M. hyorhinis exposure with prostate cancer.
These results further support a potential exacerbating role for mycoplasma in the development of prostate cancer.
Mycoplasma hyorhinis; ELISA; cancer; prostate
Valspodar, a non-immunosuppressive analog of cylosporine, is a potent P-glycoprotein (MDR1) inhibitor. As MDR1-mediated efflux of chemotherapeutic agents from leukemic blasts may contribute to drug resistance, a phase 1 study of valspodar combined with mitoxantrone and etoposide in pediatric patients with relapsed or refractory leukemias was performed.
Patients received a valspodar loading dose (2 mg/kg) followed by a five-day continuous valspodar infusion (8, 10, 12.5 or 15 mg/kg/day) combined with lower than standard doses of mitoxantrone and etoposide. The valspodar dose was escalated using a standard 3 + 3 phase I design.
21 patients were evaluable for toxicity and 20 for response. The maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of valspodar was 12.5 mg/kg/day, combined with 50% dose-reduced mitoxantrone and etoposide. The clearance of mitoxantrone and etoposide was decreased by 64% and 60%, respectively, when combined with valspodar. Dose-limiting toxicities included stomatitis, ataxia, and bone marrow aplasia. Three of 11 patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) had complete responses while no patient with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) had an objective response. In vitro studies demonstrated P-glycoprotein expression on the blasts of five of 14 patients, although only one had inhibition of rhodamine efflux by valspodar.
While this regimen was tolerable, responses in this heavily pretreated population were limited to a subset of patients with ALL.
leukemia; MDR1; multidrug resistance; P-glycoprotein; PSC-833; valspodar
Genomic imprinting is a phenomenon in which the same allele is expressed differently, depending on its parental origin. Such a phenomenon, also called the parent-of-origin effect, has been recognized to play a pivotal role in embryological development and pathogenesis in many species. Here we propose a statistical design for detecting imprinted loci that control quantitative traits based on a random set of three-generation families from a natural population in humans. This design provides a pathway for characterizing the effects of imprinted genes on a complex trait or disease at different generations and testing transgenerational changes of imprinted effects. The design is integrated with population and cytogenetic principles of gene segregation and transmission from a previous generation to next. The implementation of the EM algorithm within the design framework leads to the estimation of genetic parameters that define imprinted effects. A simulation study is used to investigate the statistical properties of the model and validate its utilization. This new design, coupled with increasingly used genome-wide association studies, should have an immediate implication for studying the genetic architecture of complex traits in humans.
Interferon alpha (IFN-α) has been used as a maintenance therapy after autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) for multiple myeloma (MM) patients. In this study, we combined GM-CSF with IFN-α in order to improve IFN tolerance in post-ASCT myeloma patients. Primary aims were to evaluate myelotoxicity and effectiveness of this maintenance therapy. The treatment included 4 × 106 units of IFN-α and 125 μg/m2 of GM-CSF given three times a week for twelve months. Twenty seven patients were enrolled within 120 days after ASCT. One patient discontinued treatment due to thrombocytopenia and seven others were taken off study due to flu-like symptoms and/or increase in liver enzymes. With a median follow-up of 45.5 months, the median overall survival was not reached while the median progression-free survival was 28 months. Eleven patients (42%) have remained in very good partial remission or complete remission since ASCT. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that maintenance with GM-CSF and IFN-α is safe and effective.
autologous stem cell transplant; interferon alpha; GM-CSF; multiple myeloma; maintenance therapy; toxicity
Large-scale studies of genetic variation may be helpful for understanding the genetic control mechanisms of viral infection and, ultimately, predicting and eliminating infectious disease outbreaks. We propose a new statistical model for detecting specific DNA sequence variants that are responsible for viral infection. This model considers additive, dominance and epistatic effects of haplotypes from three different genomes, recipient, transmitter and virus, through an epidemiological process. The model is constructed within the maximum likelihood framework and implemented with the EM algorithm. A number of hypothesis tests about population genetic structure and diversity and the pattern of genetic control are formulated. A series of closed forms for the EM algorithm to estimate haplotype frequencies and haplotype effects in a network of genetic interactions among three genomes are derived. Simulation studies were performed to test the statistical properties of the model, recommending necessary sample sizes for obtaining reasonably good accuracy and precision of parameter estimation. By integrating, for the first time, the epidemiological principle of viral infection into genetic mapping, the new model shall find an immediate application to studying the genetic architecture of viral infection.
Disease dissemination to the bone marrow is detected at diagnosis in approximately 15% of children with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma (T-LL). It is unclear whether the remaining patients have submicroscopic systemic disease and, if so, what is the clinical significance of this finding.
Patients and Methods
Using a flow cytometric method that can detect one T-LL cell among 10,000 normal cells, we examined bone marrow and peripheral-blood samples collected from 99 children with T-LL at diagnosis, as well as blood samples collected from 42 patients during treatment.
In 71 (71.7%) of the 99 marrow samples obtained at diagnosis, T-LL cells represented 0.01% to 31.6% (median, 0.22%) of mononuclear cells; 57 of the 71 T-LL–positive samples were from patients with stage II/III disease. Results of studies in bilateral marrow aspirates were highly concordant. Two-year event-free survival (EFS) was 68.1% ± 11.1% (SE) for patients with ≥ 1% T-LL cells in bone marrow versus 90.7% ± 4.4% for those with lower levels of marrow involvement (P = .031); EFS for patients with ≥ 5% lymphoblasts was 51.9% ± 18.0% (P = .009). T-LL cells were as prevalent in blood as in marrow; monitoring residual T-LL cells in blood during remission induction therapy identified patients with slower disease clearance.
More than two thirds of children with T-LL have disseminated disease at diagnosis, a proportion much higher than previously demonstrated. Measurements of disease dissemination at diagnosis might provide useful prognostic information, which can be further refined by monitoring response to therapy through blood testing.
To estimate the response rate and therapy related toxicities of the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab when combined with chemotherapy including ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide (ICE) in patients with relapsed and refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and mature B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL).
Patients received rituximab and ICE for 1 to 3 cycles, depending upon response. Rituximab (375 mg/m2) was given on day 1 and 3 of each cycle (day 1 only for cycle 3), with ifosfamide (3000 mg/m2) and etoposide (100 mg/m2) given on days 3, 4, and 5 and carboplatin (635 mg/m2) given on day 3 only.
Twenty-one patients were enrolled, of whom 20 were eligible and evaluable. Although hematologic toxicities were common, only one patient was removed from study due to prolonged myelosuppression. Toxicities related to infusions of rituximab were frequent but manageable. Of the 6 eligible patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, 3 achieved complete remission (CR), 1 had stable disease (SD), and 2 had progressive disease (PD). Of the 14 eligible patients with Burkitt lymphoma and B-ALL, there were 4 complete responses (CR), 5 partial responses (PR), 1 SD and 4 with PD. Thus the CR/PR rate for the entire group was 12/20 (60%). Following completion of protocol therapy 6 patients were able to proceed to consolidation with high-dose therapy and stem cell rescue.
The combination of rituximab and ICE chemotherapy was associated with an encouraging objective response rate and an acceptable toxicity profile.
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma; Large Cell Lymphoma; Burkitt's Lymphoma; Chemotherapy
We determine the utility of serial urinary cytologies in patients presenting with microscopic hematuria who were evaluated with upper and lower urinary tract studies to rule out a malignancy.
Two hundred and thirty-seven patients with the diagnosis of microscopic hematuria were evaluated at an inner-city tertiary care hospital. Of these 239 patients, 182 patients had 405 cytologies obtained as part of their evaluation for hematuria. In addition, all patients had their lower urinary tract and upper tract thoroughly evaluated.
Two hundred and seventy four cytology samples were read as normal, 104 (26%) as atypia, 7 (2%) as suspicious/malignant, and 20 (5%) as unsatisfactory. Seventeen patients (9.3%) had biopsy confirmed bladder cancer. Of these 17 patients, 2 had normal cytology, 11 had atypia, and 5 had suspicious/malignant. No patient had a positive cytology and a negative biopsy. Overall the number of hematuric patients harboring bladder cancer was small (7%). Cytology #1 detected 4 cases of cancer, cytology #2 detected an additional case and cytology #3 did not detect any additional cancers.
Because of this low prevalence of bladder cancer in patients presenting with microscopic hematuria and the low sensitivity of detecting bladder cancers, the utility of urinary cytology in the initial evaluation of patients with hematuria may be minimal. The exact role of urinary cytology in the evaluation of hematuria is unknown.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) represent the most widespread type of DNA sequence variation in the human genome and they have recently emerged as valuable genetic markers for revealing the genetic architecture of complex traits in terms of nucleotide combination and sequence. Here, we extend an algorithmic model for the haplotype analysis of SNPs to estimate the effects of genetic imprinting expressed at the DNA sequence level. The model provides a general procedure for identifying the number and types of optimal DNA sequence variants that are expressed differently due to their parental origin. The model is used to analyze a genetic data set collected from a pain genetics project. We find that DNA haplotype GAC from three SNPs, OPRKG36T (with two alleles G and T), OPRKA843G (with alleles A and G), and OPRKC846T (with alleles C and T), at the kappa-opioid receptor, triggers a significant effect on pain sensitivity, but with expression significantly depending on the parent from which it is inherited (p = 0.008). With a tremendous advance in SNP identification and automated screening, the model founded on haplotype discovery and statistical inference may provide a useful tool for genetic analysis of any quantitative trait with complex inheritance.
Data exist that demonstrate isoflavones' potent antiproliferative effects on prostate cancer cells. We evaluated the efficacy of isoflavone in patients with PSA recurrent prostate cancer after prior therapy. We postulated that isoflavone therapy would slow the rate of rise of serum PSA.
Twenty patients with rising PSA after prior local therapy were enrolled in this open-labeled, Phase II, nonrandomized trial (Trial registration # NCT00596895). Patients were treated with soy milk containing 47 mg of isoflavonoid per 8 oz serving three times per day for 12 months. Serum PSA, testosterone, lipids, isoflavone levels (genistein, daidzein, and equol), and quality of life (QOL) were measured at various time points from 0 to 12 months. PSA outcome was evaluated.
Within the mixed regression model, it was estimated that PSA had increased 56% per year before study entry and only increased 20% per year for the 12-month study period (p = 0.05). Specifically, the slope of PSA after study entry was significantly lower than that before study entry in 6 patients and the slope of PSA after study entry was significantly higher than before study entry in 2 patients. For the remaining 12 patients, the change in slope was statistically insignificant. Nearly two thirds of the patients were noted to have significant levels of free equol in their serum while on therapy.
Dietary intervention with isoflavone supplementation may have biologic activity in men with biochemical recurrent prostate cancer as shown by a decline in the slope of PSA. This study may lend support to the literature that nutritional supplements have biologic activity in prostate cancer and therefore, further studies with these agents in randomized clinical trials should be encouraged.
INTRODUCTION: We report the incidence, clinicopathologic features, and outcomes of men who presented to an inner-city hospital with serum PSA >20 ng/ml. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Five-hundred-sixty men underwent a transrectal ultrasound needle-guided biopsy of the prostate for elevated PSA >4 ng/ml with or without an abnormal digital rectal examination. RESULTS: Of the 560 men, 65 (12%) were found to have a serum PSA >20 ng/ml, and 57 (10%) were diagnosed with prostate cancer. In the group of 57 men with cancer, the positive predictive value of PSA alone was 72% for PSA levels of 20-29.99 ng/ml and 100% for PSA >30 ng/ml. Of the 57 men, 18 underwent definitive therapy, 24 underwent androgen deprivation, 8 refused treatment or were lost to follow-up, and 7 were treated on protocol. An additional seven men with cancer refused therapy or were lost to follow-up, thus giving a total of 15 (26%) men who were noncompliant to medical advice. CONCLUSIONS: Serum PSA >30 ng/ml is an almost certain predictor of the presence of prostate cancer. Aggressive prostate cancer education and screening programs are needed in our inner cities in order to detect prostate cancer at an earlier, treatable stage.