Evaluation of prostate cancer antigen 3 for detecting prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Sci Rep. 2016 May 10;6:25776. doi: 10.1038/srep25776.


Previous studies indicate that prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) is highly expressed in prostatic tumors. However, its clinical value has not been characterized. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical value of the urine PCA3 test in the diagnosis of prostate cancer by pooling the published data. Clinical trials utilizing the urine PCA3 test for diagnosing prostate cancer were retrieved from PubMed and Embase. A total of 46 clinical trials including 12,295 subjects were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio (+LR), negative likelihood ratio (-LR), diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) and area under the curve (AUC) were 0.65 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.63-0.66), 0.73 (95% CI: 0.72-0.74), 2.23 (95% CI: 1.91-2.62), 0.48 (95% CI: 0.44-0.52), 5.31 (95% CI: 4.19-6.73) and 0.75 (95% CI: 0.74-0.77), respectively. In conclusion, the urine PCA3 test has acceptable sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of prostate cancer and can be used as a non-invasive method for that purpose.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / metabolism*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / urine
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / urine
  • ROC Curve
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • prostate cancer antigen 3, human