Prostate cancer gene test provides new early detection

October 16, 2008

Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the most common male cancers in the Western world. Currently, early detection of PCa depends on an abnormal digital rectal examination and an elevated prostate-specific-antigen (PSA) level requiring a prostate biopsy, often associated with anxiety, discomfort, complications, and heavy expenses. The prostate-cancer-gene-3 (PCA3) test is a new PCa gene-based marker carried out with a urine sample. PCA3 is highly specific to PCa and has shown promising early detection results at repeat biopsy. It may allow patients to avoid unnecessary biopsies. The PCA3 gene is dominant in over 95% of malignant prostate tissue compared to benign and normal prostate tissue.

Several studies have been done to evaluate the PCA3 assay. In 2007, Marks et al showed that urine PCA3 levels were more accurate than serum PSA measurements for predicting the results of repeat biopsy (Marks LS, Fradet Y, Deras IL, et al. PCA3 molecular urine assay for prostate cancer in men undergoing repeat biopsy. Urology 2007; 69:532��).

In the October 2008 issue of European Urology (www.elsevier.com/locate/eururo>), Haese et al took the study by Marks et al even further in their evaluation of the PCA3 assay in a larger population of European men with one or two negative biopsies scheduled for repeat biopsy in order to determine its effectiveness in detecting PCa at repeat biopsy.

The PCA3 score was calculated and compared to biopsy outcome. The diagnostic accuracy of the PCA3 assay was compared to the percentage of free prostate-specific antigen (%fPSA). Most of the PSA that circulates in the serum is attached to larger protein substances, so called 'complexed' PSA. The rest of the PSA is unbound or 'free'. Research suggests that PSA created by prostate cancer is more likely to be the 'complexed' type while non-cancerous or benign PSA is more the 'free' type.

In 463 men, the positive repeat biopsy rate was 28%. The probability of a positive repeat biopsy increases with rising PCA3 scores. The PCA3 score was superior to %fPSA for predicting repeat prostate biopsy outcome and may be indicative of clinical stage and significance of PCa.

The utility of the PCA3 score is independent of the number of previous biopsies, prostate volume, and total PSA.

Source: Elsevier

Explore further: PCA3 assay ups predictive accuracy for repeat biopsy

Related Stories

PCA3 assay ups predictive accuracy for repeat biopsy

June 13, 2013
(HealthDay)—For men with at least one prior negative biopsy, urinary PCA3 scores, together with serum prostate-specific antigen and other clinical information, improve the prediction accuracy for repeat biopsy outcome, ...

New technology improves prostate cancer biopsies

December 11, 2014
The goal is not to find every prostate cancer – it's to find aggressive prostate cancer that may impact a man's survival.

Researchers find RNA molecules in urine and tissue that detect prostate cancer

October 10, 2014
Researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute have identified a set of RNA molecules that are detectable in tissue samples and urine of prostate cancer patients but not in normal healthy individuals. The study ...

Diagnosing prostate cancer—PSA testing, biomarkers and beyond

June 24, 2015
A central challenge in diagnosing and treating prostate cancer is distinguishing fast from slow, aggressive from indolent. Consider the experience of Gerald Alexander.

Recommended for you

Researchers target undruggable cancers

October 19, 2017
A new approach to targeting key cancer-linked proteins, thought to be 'undruggable," has been discovered through an alliance between industry and academia.

Mutant gene found to fuel cancer-promoting effects of inflammation

October 19, 2017
A human gene called p53, which is commonly known as the "guardian of the genome," is widely known to combat the formation and progression of tumors. Yet, mutant forms of p53 have been linked to more cases of human cancer ...

New study reveals breast cancer cells recycle their own ammonia waste as fuel

October 19, 2017
Breast cancer cells recycle ammonia, a waste byproduct of cell metabolism, and use it as a source of nitrogen to fuel tumor growth, report scientists from Harvard Medical School in the journal Science.

Breast cancer researchers find bacteria imbalance link

October 19, 2017
Researchers in the United States have uncovered differences in the bacterial composition of breast tissue of healthy women versus those with breast cancer.

US regulators approve 2nd gene therapy for blood cancer

October 19, 2017
U.S. regulators on Wednesday approved a second gene therapy for a blood cancer, a one-time, custom-made treatment for aggressive lymphoma in adults.

New findings explain how UV rays trigger skin cancer

October 18, 2017
Melanoma, a cancer of skin pigment cells called melanocytes, will strike an estimated 87,110 people in the U.S. in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A fraction of those melanomas come from ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.