Prostatic carcinoma metastatic to bone: sensitivity and specificity of prostate-specific antigen and prostatic acid phosphatase in decalcified material

J Surg Oncol. 1985 Aug;29(4):265-8. doi: 10.1002/jso.2930290416.


Decalcified bone marrow biopsies containing metastatic tumor from 36 patients were stained for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) using the avidin biotin complex (ABC) immunoperoxidase technique. Of these patients, 22 had known prostate primaries, ten had known nonprostatic, and four female patients had unknown primaries. Prostate-specific antigen was identified in 86% (19/22) of the metastatic prostatic carcinomas. Prostatic acid phosphatase was present in only 36% (8/22). None of the patients with nonprostatic primaries or unknown primaries showed positive staining for either antigen (0/14). This study indicates that immunoperoxidase staining for PSA is very sensitive and specific in the diagnosis of metastatic prostate carcinoma, while PAP was less sensitive using decalcified bone marrow specimens. We believe that immunostaining with PSA should be of great value in diagnosis of prostatic carcinoma metastatic to the bone.

MeSH terms

  • Acid Phosphatase / analysis*
  • Adenocarcinoma / analysis
  • Adenocarcinoma / immunology
  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary*
  • Aged
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • Bone Marrow / metabolism
  • Bone Neoplasms / analysis
  • Bone Neoplasms / immunology
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Decalcification Technique
  • Female
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostate / metabolism
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / immunology*


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Acid Phosphatase
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen