A quantitative model for the dynamics of serum prostate-specific antigen as a marker for cancerous growth: an explanation for a medical anomaly

Am J Pathol. 2001 Jun;158(6):2195-9. doi: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)64691-3.


Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is an enzyme produced by both normal and cancerous prostate epithelial cells. Although PSA is the most widely used serum marker to detect and follow patients with prostatic adenocarcinoma, there are certain anomalies in the values of serum levels of PSA that are not understood. We developed a mathematical model for the dynamics of serum levels of PSA as a function of the tumor volume. Our model results show good agreement with experimental observations and provide an explanation for the existence of significant prostatic tumor mass despite a low-serum PSA. This result can be very useful in enhancing the use of serum PSA levels as a marker for cancer growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / blood
  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Transplantation, Heterologous


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen