Background: The incidence and prevalence of both benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) and prostate cancer (PCa) increase with the aging process. Our laboratory recently showed that the chemokines CXCL5 and CXCL12, which normally function as inflammatory mediators, are secreted at higher levels by aging prostate stromal fibroblasts and elicit proliferative responses from both prostate stromal fibroblast and epithelial cells. Because both CXCL5 and CXCL12 are secreted molecules, we hypothesized that their levels in patient serum might serve as biomarkers to distinguish between BPH and PCa.
Methods: Serum CXCL5 and CXCL12 levels were determined using sandwich ELISAs for 51 men demonstrating low serum PSA values of < or =10 ng/ml who underwent diagnostic needle biopsy for the detection of PCa. The bivariate relationship of circulating chemokine levels, age, and disease status in the prostate was tested using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test.
Results: Total serum CXCL12 levels were significantly higher for men who were biopsy positive compared to those who were biopsy negative for cancer and histological prostatitis (P = 0.050). Among men who were biopsy negative for PCa, total serum CXCL5 levels were inversely associated with prostate volume and were significantly higher in men with concomitant BPH and histological prostatitis compared to those without evidence of prostatic disease (P < 0.003).
Conclusions: The results of this pilot and feasibility study suggest that serum or plasma CXCL5 and CXCL12 levels may potentially distinguish between BPH and PCa among patients presenting with low serum PSA, and may be useful toward facilitating decisions to perform diagnostic needle biopsy in this patient population.
Copyright 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.