After a median follow-up of 11 years in the core age group, the relative reduction in the risk of death from prostate cancer in the screening group was 21% rate ratio, 0.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.68 to 0.91; P=0.001, and 29% after adjustment for noncompliance. The absolute reduction in mortality in the screening group was 0.10 deaths per 1000 person-years or 1.07 deaths per 1000 men who underwent randomization. The rate ratio for death from prostate cancer during follow-up years 10 and 11 was 0.62 95% CI, 0.45 to 0.85; P=0.003. To prevent one death from prostate cancer at 11 years of follow-up, 1055 men would need to be invited for screening and 37 cancers would need to be detected. There was no significant between-group difference in all-cause mortality.
This NEJM published study is a 2 year update from the European Randomized Study of Screening for prostate cancer. This is a timely article given the debate in this country as to the utility of prostate cancer screening.
Prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer that rarely cause mortality in months. As more time goes by I would expect the updated version of this study to show a larger amount of people being helped by the treatment of their prostate cancer.