Stockholm3 is a blood test that combines protein markers, genetic markers and clinical data with an advanced algorithm in order to detect aggressive prostate cancer at an early stage.
Background: Why developing the Stockholm3 test?
Early detection is the key to successful treatment of prostate cancer. Today the blood test prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is used. One problem with the PSA test is that it misses between 30 and 50 percent of all aggressive cases of cancer. Research shows that Stockholm3 finds 100 percent more aggressive cases of cancer. This improves the ability to detect and treat cancer at an early stage.
Another problem with the PSA test is that it cannot distinguish between aggressive and benign cancer. As a result, many men have to undergo unnecessary follow-up with a biopsy of the prostate. This can cause side effects such as sepsis as well as blood in the urine and feces. Research shows that Stockholm3 reduces the risk of conducting unnecessary prostate biopsies by 50 percent.
A third problem with the PSA test is that it is difficult to interpret. The Stockholm3 test provides an answer with a clear and easy-to-interpret recommendation. This makes it easier for the treating doctor to make a decision on potential further actions. It also helps the man to get a better understanding of his individual risk of getting prostate cancer. For example, nearly half of the men aged 50 to 70 years have a very low risk profile and do not need to take a new test until after six years.
Stockholm3 also reduces health care costs. Research shows that Stockholm3 reduces the direct costs by 17 to 28 percent.
Research about the Stockholm3 test
The Stockholm3 test has been developed by Henrik Grönberg, professor of cancer epidemiology, at Karolinska Institutet. Nearly 60,000 men participated in STHLM3, a clinical study which was conducted at KI between 2012 and 2015. Approximately 20,000 men have participated in additional studies. The results have been clinically validated on over 25,000 men in Sweden, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom between 2016 and 2018. Results have been published in The Lancet Oncology, Nature Reviews, Clinical Oncology and European Urology.
Interpreting the Stockholm3 test
The Stockholm3 test provides an answer with a clear and easy-to-interpret recommendation, making it easier for the treating doctor to make a decision on potential further actions. The Stockholm3 answer can be negative or positive.
In the event of a negative answer the tested man shows low or normal risk of developing prostate cancer. A follow-up within six respectively two years will be recommended.
In the event of a positive test result a referral to a urologist for further evaluation will be recommended. If the risk level is high, the man might need further testing to look for prostate cancer. Discuss the Stockholm3 test result with the physician to evaluate the next steps regarding the prostate health.
As with the PSA test all men that take the Stockholm3 test should be informed about any negative consequences of taking the test.
Who should take the Stockholm3 test?
The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age. All men between the ages of 50 and 75, without previously known prostate cancer, are recommended to take the Stockholm3 test. The Stockholm3 test has no proven add-value and the test is not advised for men who previously been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The value of taking a new test if recently undergoing an examination and biopsy at an urologist can be discussed. The Stockholm3 test does not replace a biopsy for men undergoing active monitoring. The Stockholm3 test has not been tested for men younger than 50 years, nor for men older than 70 years. There are no research results that suggest that it is beneficial to find prostate cancer early in men over 75 years.