Researchers who studied the prevalence of prostate cancer among male organ donors found that approximately one in eight of them had the malignancy.
Prostate cancer was found mainly in men older than 50 years, after which prostate cancer prevalence increased with age, the investigators reported in The Journal of Urology (2008;179:892-895). The finding confirms the value of screening for prostate cancer after age 50, the authors noted. Prostate cancer was found in 34.7% of men aged 60-70 years.
“Based on our finding we suggest that at least a serum PSA evaluation should be done in all male donors older than 50 years,” the authors stated.
The study also found high-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) in 10.6% of donors. An age-dependent increase in HGPIN was observed beginning after age 40.
Investigators at the University of Pittsburgh led by Rajiv Dhir, MD, studied prostates harvested from 340 organ donors who died suddenly. The donors had a mean age of 40 years (range 1-81 years). Of the 340 donors, 322 were white, 17 were black, and one was Hispanic. The researchers found prostate cancer in 41 specimens (12%). Of these, 35 (85%) had concurrent HGPIN.
“Since these individuals had no prior medical conditions, they would be more representative of a general healthy population than patients at autopsy, who have presumably died of a significant medical condition,” the researchers wrote.