Detection of Alpha-Methylacyl-CoA Racemase (AMACR), a Biomarker of Prostate Cancer, in Patient Blood Samples Using a Nanoparticle Electrochemical Biosensor

Biosensors (Basel). 2012 Sep 26;2(4):377-87. doi: 10.3390/bios2040377.


Although still commonly used in clinical practice to screen and diagnose prostate cancer, there are numerous weaknesses of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, including lack of specificity and the inability to distinguish between aggressive and indolent cancers. A promising prostate cancer biomarker, alpha-methylacyl-CoA racemase (AMACR), has been previously demonstrated to distinguish cancer from healthy and benign prostate cells with high sensitivity and specificity. However, no accurate clinically useful assay has been developed. This study reports the development of a single use, disposable biosensor for AMACR detection. Human blood samples were used to verify its validity, reproducibility and reliability. Plasma samples from 9 healthy males, 10 patients with high grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN), and 5 prostate cancer patients were measured for AMACR levels. The average AMACR levels in the prostate cancer patients was 10 fold higher (mean(SD) = 0.077 (0.10)) than either the controls (mean(SD) = 0.005 (0.001)) or HGPIN patients (mean(SD) = 0.004 (0.0005)). At a cutoff of between 0.08 and 0.9, we are able to achieve 100% accuracy in separating prostate cancer patients from controls. Our results provide strong evidence demonstrating that this biosensor can perform as a reliable assay for prostate cancer detection and diagnosis.