New review of biomarkers for prostate cancer detection


Nogueira et al. have just published a new “mini-review” in BJU International that addresses the potential roles of current and “future” biomarkers that may have relevance to prostate cancer detection. As ususal, this mini-review is available free to registered members of the UroToday web site, and offers a useful resource for prostate cancer support group leaders.

The article starts (and concludes) by noting that the PSA test (for all its problems) is still the current “gold standard” for the detection of potential risk for prostate cancer. However, the article focuses its attention on the capabilities of other biomarkers known to bear some relationship to prostate cancer risk, including:

  • Human kallikrein 2 (hK2)
  • Urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR)
  • Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)
  • Early prostate cancer antigen (EPCA)
  • Prostate-specific antibodies
  • Prostate cancer gene 3 messenger RNA (PCA3)
  • Hypermethylation of the  GTSP-1 gene

The authors suggest that all of the above markers continue to hold potential as methods to identify prostate cancer with greater specificity that the current PSA tests. However, their exact clinical utility is still not well defined at the present time, although the PCA3 test is commercially available in European countries and in the USA (although it has yet to be formally approved as a marker for the detection of prostate cancer in the USA).

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