Introduction: Due to its universal applicability for early detection and prediction of cancer stage and disease recurrence, widespread implementation of serum-based prostate-specific antigen (PSA) measurements has a significant influence on current treatment strategies for men with prostate cancer (PCa). However, over-detection and the resultant over-treatment of indolent cancers have been strongly implicated to occur. Using current recommended guidelines, the PSA test suffers from both limited sensitivity and specificity to enable efficacious population-based cancer detection. Therefore, novel biomarkers are much needed to complement PSA by enhancing its diagnostic and prognostic performance.
Methods: The present literature on serum markers for PCa was reviewed. PSA derivatives, molecular PSA isoforms, and novel molecular targets in blood were summarized and weighted against their potential to improve decision-making of men with PCa.
Results: Current evidence suggests that no single analyte is likely to achieve the desired level of diagnostic and prognostic accuracy for PCa. However, the combination of biomarkers with clinical and demographic data, for example, using established standard nomograms, has produced progress toward the goal of both optimal screening and risk assessment. Furthermore, potential candidate molecular markers for PCa can be derived from high-throughput technologies. Current studies demonstrate that understanding dynamic PSA changes over time may offer diagnostic and prognostic information.
Conclusions: Bridging the gap between basic science and clinical practice represents the main goal in the near future to enable physicians to tailor risk-adjusted screening and treatment strategies for current patients with PCa.