Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 50 (6), 1017-25

Proenzyme Forms of Prostate-Specific Antigen in Serum Improve the Detection of Prostate Cancer


Proenzyme Forms of Prostate-Specific Antigen in Serum Improve the Detection of Prostate Cancer

Stephen D Mikolajczyk et al. Clin Chem.


Introduction: Pro or precursor forms of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) have emerged as potentially important diagnostic serum markers for prostate cancer detection. Immunoassays were developed to measure specific proPSA forms containing propeptides of 2, 4, and 7 amino acids [(-2)proPSA, (-4)proPSA, and (-7)proPSA, respectively].

Methods: Research-use dual monoclonal antibody immunoassays using europium-labeled detection monoclonal antibodies were developed for each form of proPSA. Sera from patients with prostate cancer or benign prostate disease containing 4-10 microg/L PSA were assayed and analyzed by area under the ROC curve (AUC) for specificity and sensitivity.

Results: The proPSA forms had quantification limits of 0.015-0.025 microg/L in serum, with cross-reactivities <1% with PSA. The sum of the proPSA forms divided by free PSA (percentage proPSA) had a higher AUC than did percentage of (-2)proPSA, free PSA, and complexed PSA with AUC (95% confidence intervals) of 0.69 (0.64-0.74), 0.64 (0.58-0.68), 0.63 (0.58-0.68), and 0.57 (0.51-0.62), respectively. The proPSA comprised a median of 33% of the free PSA in cancer and 25% in noncancer sera (P <0.0001). One-third (33%) of cancer samples had >40% proPSA, whereas only 8% of noncancer samples did (P <0.0001). In men with cancer and >25% free PSA, the (-2)proPSA had an AUC of 0.77 (0.66-0.86), with 90% sensitivity and 36% specificity at 0.04 microg/L.

Conclusions: The percentage of proPSA gave better cancer detection in the 4-10 microg/L range than did percentage of free PSA and complexed PSA. (-2)proPSA significantly discriminated cancer in men whose serum had >25% free PSA, for whom there is currently no good marker for cancer detection.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 33 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types