Methodology for the at-home collection of urine samples for prostate cancer detection

Biotechniques. 2020 Feb;68(2):65-71. doi: 10.2144/btn-2019-0092. Epub 2019 Nov 29.


Urine from patients with prostate cancer (PCa) contains gene transcripts that have been used for PCa diagnosis and prognosis. Historically, patient urine samples have been collected after a digital rectal examination of the prostate, which was thought necessary to boost the levels of prostatic secretions in the urine. We herein describe methodology that allows urine to be collected by patients at home and then posted to a laboratory for analysis. RNA yields and quality were comparable to those for post digital rectal examination urine, and there was improved sensitivity for the detection of TMPRSS2:ERG transcripts by RT-PCR. The At-Home collection protocol has opened up the potential to perform large-scale PCa studies without the inconvenience, cost, discomfort and expense of patients having to visit the clinic.

Keywords: biomarker; cancer; diagnosis; home-screening; prognosis; prostate; urine.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / urine
  • RNA / urine*
  • Urine Specimen Collection / methods*


  • RNA