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What is the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) blood test?

Marc B. Garnick, MD
Hematology & Oncology
Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is found in all prostate cells. PSMA levels are higher in men with prostate cancer, but they also increase as men get older. The PSMA blood test has been found to be highly sensitive, but as a screening tool, the PSMA has not proved superior to the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, which measures the level of a protein called prostate-specific antigen made by cells in the prostate. The PSMA test is currently used as part of an imaging scan (ProstaScint) to determine whether prostate cancer has spread to other areas of the body. It has also shown promise as a predictor of recurrent prostate cancer but has many limitations.

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