Prostate cancer remains the most common non-skin cancer and second leading cause of death among men in the United States. Although progress has been made in diagnosis and risk assessment, many clinical questions remain regarding early identification of prostate cancer and management. The early detection of aggressive disease continues to provide high curative rates if diagnosed in a localized state. Unfortunately, prostate cancer displays significant heterogeneity within the prostate organ and between individual patients making detection and treatment strategies complex. Although prostate cancer is common among men, the majority will not die from prostate cancer, introducing the issue of overtreatment as a major concern in clinical management of the disease. The focus of the future is to identify those at highest risk for aggressive prostate cancer and to develop prevention and screening strategies, as well as discerning the difference in malignant potential of diagnosed tumors. The Prostate Cancer Research Group of the National Cancer Institute's Early Detection Research Network has contributed to the progress in addressing these concerns. This summary is an overview of the activities of the group.
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