4K® score test in the time of COVID-19 quarantine - implications for
timely diagnosis of high-risk prostate cancer
The diagnosis of clinically significant prostate cancer is often
challenging. The 4K® score test may assist in evaluating the risk of
significant malignancy and avoid biopsies in non-significant disease.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a remarkable disruption in managing
patients with suspected prostate cancer. The aim of this study is to
evaluate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on 4K ®score test results
by comparing tests performed in Israel between April to July 2020 to a
control group of the same period in 2019. During the COVID-19 era there
were few quarantine periods in which citizens were allowed to leave
their homes for specific reasons only (eg, medical consultations).
Meanwhile, medical clinics were operating in limited schedule with
intention to treat emergent cases only. We assumed that focusing on
coping with the pandemic and its implications will decrease prostate MRI
tests and prostate biopsies and as a result, there will an increase in
the 4K score blood tests as well as a change in the pre-biopsies
prostate risk stratification.