The Editorial Executive Committee welcomes letters, which should be less than 250 words. Before a decision to publish is made, letters which refer to a published article may be sent to the author for a response. Any letter may be sent to an expert for comment. When letters are published, they are usually accompanied in the same issue by their responses or comments. The Committee screens out discourteous, inaccurate or libellous statements. The letters are sub-edited before publication. Authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest. The Committee's decision on publication is final.

Letter to the editor

Editor, – I was interested in the article 'Prostate specific antigen', by Dr J.V. Wells (Aust Prescr 1993;16:37-9), but very disappointed to find no hint of the costs of the various tests.

I know that it is impossible to give exact costings, but some very general indication and comparison with other tests (e.g. the various acid phosphatases) seems essential to me for the rational selection of tests in the conditions of today.

G.J. Fraenkel
Emeritus Professor and Former Dean
Flinders University
Torrens Park, S.A.

Author's comments

Dr J. V. Wells, the author of the article, comments:
The current approach to early detection of prostate cancer involves digital rectal examination, serum PSA and trans-rectal ultrasound (TRUS), with or without biopsy. The use of phosphatases has almost disappeared in the major centres. There is therefore only one laboratory test- PSA. The only cost comparison would be to compare costs of different kits.