Serum thymidine kinase 1 is associated with Gleason score of patients with prostate carcinoma

Oncol Lett. 2018 Nov;16(5):6171-6180. doi: 10.3892/ol.2018.9345. Epub 2018 Aug 21.


The aim of the present was to assess whether serum thymidine kinase 1 (STK1) concentration is a useful biomarker for the screening of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostate malignancy. Serum samples were collected from 123 patients with prostate carcinoma prior to surgery, biopsy or androgen deprivation therapy and at 3, 6 and 10 months following the procedure. A total of 205 patients with BPH and 266 healthy controls were also utilized. STK1 concentration and total prostate-specific antigen (PSA) were measured in patient serum by use of commercial assays. The pathological specimens (obtained from surgery or biopsy) were assessed according to Gleason scores (GS). STK1 concentration and total PSA were significantly higher in patients with prostate carcinoma compared with patients with BPH and healthy individuals. Furthermore, STK1 concentration was associated with Gleason score, while total PSA was not. However, no association was identified between STK1 concentration and total serum PSA. A receiver operating characteristic analysis was performed on STK1 concentrations among patients with prostate carcinoma. The results demonstrated that the sensitivity and specificity were high, with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.97. Although the sensitivity and specificity of total PSA were also high, the AUC value was relatively low (0.74). The results indicated that STK1 concentration is a more reliable prognostic biomarker than total PSA in respect to the GS system. Additionally, since STK1 concentration is associated with Gleason score, the use of biopsies to determine Gleason score may be replaced to some extent by the STK1 concentration test, thus reducing the discomfort of patients from which biopsies are obtained.

Keywords: Gleason score; benign prostatic hyperplasia; prostate-specific antigen; prostatic carcinoma; serum thymidine kinase 1.