SelectMDx for Prostate Cancer

PSA Image

Do You Have an Elevated PSA?

The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is a screening tool to identify men at increased risk for prostate cancer.  This simple blood test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen released from the prostate. A PSA test usually is done before a prostate biopsy.

As you get older and your prostate gets bigger, the amount of PSA in your blood rises. An increased PSA level is a first indication that you may have a problem with your prostate. However, this does not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer. An inflamed prostate (prostatitis, for instance, due to a previous urinary infection) or an enlarged prostate (benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), adenoma) also can cause your PSA levels to rise. 

While PSA is a good screening tool, it is only one piece of the puzzle. A PSA test has these limitations:

  • It has limited ability to discriminate between benign prostate conditions and prostate cancer. 
  • It is not able to discriminate a more aggressive prostate cancer from one that is less likely to cause harm.

Are You at Risk for Aggressive Prostate Cancer?

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The SelectMDx Test Can Help Answer that Question.

If you have an elevated PSA level, it is important to understand your risk for aggressive, potentially lethal, prostate cancer. SelectMDx can provide you and your urologist with better insight on your personal prostate cancer risk and whether you should have an initial prostate biopsy. 

What Does the SelectMDx Test Results Reveal?1 

The SelectMDx test measures the amount of two genes associated with aggressive prostate cancer.  The measurement of these prostate cancer specific genes in combination with traditional clinical risk factors—such as your age, PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level, prostate volume, family history of prostate cancer, and the outcome of a digital rectal examination (DRE) results in your SelectMDx personalized risk score. 

Your SelectMDx risk score gives you and your physician better insight on whether or not prostate cancer is likely to be found upon initial biopsy.  Knowing your SelectMDx risk score, you and your physician can make an informed decision if you may benefit from a prostate biopsy that could detect cancer at an early stage so you can receive appropriate treatment sooner.

Action You Can Initiate and Knowledge You Can Use  

If you learn that your PSA level is abnormal and/or that you have other clinical risk factors (age, increased prostate volume, abnormal DRE result) for prostate cancer, talk to your urologist about ordering the SelectMDx test—before having a prostate biopsy. SelectMDx will give you and your urologist additional prostate cancer-specific information to help determine if you should have a prostate biopsy.

Download the SelectMDx Doctor Discussion Guide and bring it to your next appointment.

SelectMDx Doctor Discussion Guide

Information and Terminology to Prepare You for a Discussion with Your Urologist 

Prostate Biopsy and Gleason Score 

During a prostate biopsy, the doctor takes small pieces of tissue from different areas of the prostate using a thin needle. There are two types of prostate biopsies:

  • TRUS-guided biopsy: guided by transrectal ultrasound, a needle is inserted into the prostate under local anesthesia through the wall of the rectum. This is the most commonly used method.
  • Transperineal (template or targeted) biopsy: guided by either MRI or a CT scan, a needle is inserted through the area of skin between the testicles and the rectum.

Prostate Biopsy Procedure

A pathologist observes the tissue under a microscope to see if any cancer cells are present. If the answer is yes, it is important to determine if the cancer is clinically insignificant or how aggressive it is. This determination is indicated by a biopsy score, known as the Gleason score, which ranges from 6 to 10. The higher the score, the more aggressive the cancer is.

The Difference between Clinically Insignificant and Aggressive Prostate Cancer

The type of cancer a patient has, as indicated by the Gleason score, determines if treatment is necessary and which treatment is most suitable. 

  • A Gleason score of less than or equal to 6 generally means the prostate cancer is clinically insignificant since it grows slowly. This type may never cause problems, even if left untreated.
  • A Gleason score equal to or greater than 7 generally means the prostate cancer is more aggressive. This type of cancer is more likely to spread outside the prostate and can become life-threatening. Therefore, it should be diagnosed as soon as possible to ensure proper and timely treatment, improving the chance of survival.

Download the SelectMDx Patient Brochure.

SelectMDx Patient Brochure

How is the SelectMDx Test Performed?  

It’s Non-Invasive and Convenient. 

  • All you need to do is provide a urine specimen during a visit to your urologist’s office.
  • The specimen will be sent to MDxHealth for SelectMDx for Prostate Cancer testing.
  • Your SelectMDx test results will be sent to your urologist within 5 days.


  1. Van Neste L, et al.  (2016) Detection of High-grade Prostate Cancer Using a Urinary Molecular Biomarker-Based Risk Score. Eur Urol, Nov; 70(5): 740-748.
  2. National Cancer Institute 2019, accessed August 9, 2019, <>