Screening for Prostate Cancer in Older Patients (PLCO Screening Trial)

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Basic Trial Information

PhaseTypeStatusAgeSponsorProtocol IDs
No phase specifiedScreeningClosed55 to 74NCINCI-2012-01755
PLCO-1, CDR0000078532, PLCO-Prostate, NCI-P93-0050, NCT00002540

Trial Description


This clinical trial studies whether screening methods used to diagnose cancer of the prostate, lung, colon, rectum, or ovaries can reduce deaths from these cancers. Screening tests may help doctors find cancer cells early and plan better treatment for prostate cancer.

Further Study Information


I. To determine whether screening with digital rectal examination (DRE) plus serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) can reduce mortality from prostate cancer in men aged 55-74 at entry.


I. To assess screening variables, other than mortality, for each of the interventions including sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value.

II. To assess the incidence, stage, and survival of cancer cases. III. To investigate the mortality predictive value of biologic and/or prognostic characterizations of tumor tissue as intermediate endpoints.

IV. To conduct biomolecular and genetic research into factors associated with cancer carcinogenesis and promotion, as well as the early detection of these factors.

OUTLINE: Participants in the overall PLCO study are stratified by screening center, gender, and age (55-59 vs 60-64 vs 65-69 vs 70-74). Participants are randomized to 1 of 2 arms (control vs screening).

ARM I (Control): Participants receive standard medical care. Participants complete a Diet History Questionnaire (DHQ) at baseline.

ARM II (Prostate Screening): Participants undergo blood sample collection for PSA analysis at baseline and annually for 5 years. Serum that is not used in the study will be stored in an NCI biorepository. Participants also undergo a DRE at baseline and annually for 3 years. A scheduling and tracking procedure is implemented to ensure regular attendance at repeat screens for participants screened negative or for those who are designated suspicious or positive at screening but for whom subsequent diagnostic procedures do not reveal prostate cancer (follow-up diagnostic procedures are through their own medical care environment). Participants diagnosed with prostate cancer via a screening test are referred for treatment in accordance with current accepted practice for appropriate stage of disease, patient age, and medical condition; a procedure is provided for contact with qualified medical personnel to insure appropriate therapy.

Participants complete a Dietary Questionnaire (DQX) at baseline and DHQ at year 3. An Annual Study Update (ADU) (previously referred to as the Periodic Survey of Health [PSH] questionnaire) is mailed to each participant annually for 13 years to identify all prevalent and incident prostate cancers as all deaths that occur among both screened and control subjects during the trial.

After completion of screening, participants are followed up for at least 13 years.

Eligibility Criteria

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Men who at the time of randomization are less than 55 or greater than or equal to 75 years of age
  • Individuals undergoing treatment for cancer at this time, excluding basal-cell and squamous-cell skin cancer
  • Individuals with known prior cancer of the colon, rectum, lung, prostate
  • This includes primary or metastatic PLCO cancers
  • Individuals with previous surgical removal of the entire colon, one lung, or the entire prostate
  • Individuals who are participating in another cancer screening or cancer primary prevention trial
  • Males who have taken Proscar/Propecia/finasteride in the past 6 months
  • NOTE: Individuals who are already enrolled in the trial when their physician prescribes finasteride are not prevented from taking this medication. As a result, these participants will continue to be screened and followed just as those participants who are not on finasteride.
  • NOTE: Men who are taking Tamoxifen are not excluded from any part of the PLCO Screening Trial.
  • Individuals who are unwilling or unable to sign the informed consent form
  • Males who have had more than one PSA blood test in the past three years
  • Individuals who have had a colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or barium enema in the past three years

Trial Contact Information

Trial Lead Organizations/Sponsors

National Cancer Institute

    Christine D. Berg, Principal Investigator

    Link to the current record.
    NLM Identifier NCT00002540 processed this data on April 09, 2015

    Note: Information about this trial is from the database. The versions designated for health professionals and patients contain the same text. Minor changes may be made to the record to standardize the names of study sponsors, sites, and contacts. only lists sites that are recruiting patients for active trials, whereas lists all sites for all trials. Questions and comments regarding the presented information should be directed to