The role of prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) in prostate cancer detection

Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2018 Oct;18(10):1013-1020. doi: 10.1080/14737140.2018.1502086. Epub 2018 Jul 26.


The prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) score has been the first urine assay to obtain the Food and Drug Administration approval for guiding decisions regarding additional biopsies. Different aspects of this urinary assay (diagnostic performance, prognostic value, cost/benefit balance, integration with other molecular and imaging modalities) have now been well evaluated. Areas covered: This expert review will summarize current achievements and future perspectives provided by this urine biomarker. Expert commentary: The clinical benefit of the PCA3 score, in addition to the other established factors has been demonstrated before regarding biopsy decision making in men with persistent risk of prostate cancer. Its potential prognostic value also suggests its usefulness in selecting low risk patients for active surveillance protocols, however future daily-practice changing studies are needed. Economics assessment and additional value compared with other biomolecular and imaging modalities are still under investigation.

Keywords: PCA3; Prostate cancer; biomarker; detection; low risk.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / urine*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / urine*
  • Biopsy / methods
  • Decision Making
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Selection
  • Prognosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / urine


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • prostate cancer antigen 3, human