Urinary TMPRSS2:ERG and PCA3 in an active surveillance cohort: results from a baseline analysis in the Canary Prostate Active Surveillance Study

Clin Cancer Res. 2013 May 1;19(9):2442-50. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-3283. Epub 2013 Mar 20.


Purpose: Active surveillance is used to manage low-risk prostate cancer. Both PCA3 and TMPRSS2:ERG are promising biomarkers that may be associated with aggressive disease. This study examines the correlation of these biomarkers with higher cancer volume and grade determined at the time of biopsy in an active surveillance cohort.

Experimental design: Urine was collected after digital rectal examination prospectively as part of the multi-institutional Canary Prostate Active Surveillance Study (PASS). PCA3 and TMPRSS2:ERG levels were analyzed in urine collected at study entry. Biomarker scores were correlated to clinical and pathologic variables.

Results: In 387 men, both PCA3 and TMPRSS2:ERG scores were significantly associated with higher volume disease. For a negative repeat biopsy, and 1% to 10%, 11% to 33%, 34% or more positive cores, median PCA3, and TMPRSS2:ERG scores increased incrementally (P < 0.005). Both PCA3 and TMPRSS2:ERG scores were also significantly associated with the presence of high-grade disease. For a negative repeat biopsy, Gleason 6 and Gleason ≥7 cancers, the median PCA3, and TMPRSS2:ERG scores also increased incrementally (P = 0.02 and P = 0.001, respectively). Using the marker scores as continuous variables, the ORs for a biopsy in which cancer was detected versus a negative repeat biopsy (ref) on modeling was 1.41 (95% CI: 1.07-1.85), P = 0.01 for PCA3 and 1.28 (95% CI: 1.10-1.49), P = 0.001 for TMPRSS2:ERG.

Conclusions: For men on active surveillance, both PCA3 and TMPRSS2:ERG seem to stratify the risk of having aggressive cancer as defined by tumor volume or Gleason score.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / urine*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / urine*
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / urine*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostate / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / urine*
  • ROC Curve
  • Reference Values
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Tumor Burden


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
  • TMPRSS2-ERG fusion protein, human
  • prostate cancer antigen 3, human